Commonwealth Games athletics commentator Tamsyn Lewis.
Commonwealth Games athletics commentator Tamsyn Lewis. Timothy Carrafa

Going for TV gold at the Commonwealth Games

TAMSYN Lewis Manou has been doing her homework ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.  

The mother-of-two is a three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist and retired from middle-distance running only two years ago.  

Ater calling the action alongside Bruce McAvaney at the Rio Olympics, she's back in the hot seat commentating on athletics for Games broadcaster Channel 7.  

She knows better than anyone how important preparation is ahead of a performance, whether on screen or on the track, at such an elite event.  

"I've been in prep mode for ages. You have to do so much research," she tells The Guide.  

"When I was running I didn't pay attention to how many track and field events there really are. There are so many athletes who deserve to be researched so at the moment I'm doing four hours a night. Track and field isn't on TV a lot in Australia so my goal is to try to get the public to know our track and field team. They have such great stories to tell and this is their opportunity. I feel a big responsibility." 

Devon Allen of the United States of America speaks to former Olympian Tamsyn Lewis after winning the Men 100m during the Australian Athletics Sydney Grand Prix.
Devon Allen of the United States of America speaks to former Olympian Tamsyn Lewis after winning the Men 100m during the Australian Athletics Sydney Grand Prix. JEREMY NG/AAP

She believes hurdles champion Sally Pearson will have a home-town advantage.  

"You don't have that homesick feeling you have when you're travelling the world," Lewis Manou says.

"She's such a professional. I haven't met anyone with such great mental ability to shut everything out and perform. I don't think it would matter where she was… but if she does have an advantage then her competitors should be worried."   Working less than an hour from her home in Brisbane also has its perks for Lewis Manou.  

"My son is only five months old and Izabella is three. When I had to leave Izabella for Rio I bawled my eyes out," she says.

"I like knowing they're close and that I can still see them. It takes away that added layer of stress."  

She is looking forward to covering everything including running, hurdles, shot put and discus.   

"You have shot put and marathon in the same sport, that's what I love about athletics," she says.

"It's one of the things that drew me to the sport - the complexities and layers within it. You meet people from all different walks of life."  

Rather than focusing on the medal count, Lewis Manou hopes the Games will be a learning experience for younger athletes such as 17-year-olds Bendere Oboya and Riley Day.  

Rising sprint star Riley Day is hoping to make the 200m final at the Commonwealth Games. Photo: AAP
Rising sprint star Riley Day is hoping to make the 200m final at the Commonwealth Games. Photo: AAP

"Australians are always such good supporters of sport," she says.

"It's just about the experience for them so they enjoy the journey. It's a real pressure-cooker environment and you don't want them to walk away from it mentally burnt out. 

"We've got some big talent coming through. Come Tokyo 2020 they're going to be fighting for those spots (on the Olympic team)."  

The Commonwealth Games air daily from April 4 to April 15 on Seven, 7TWO, 7MATE and the 7CommGames app.  



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