HIT: Australia's Jarrod Fletcher (blue) in action during his gold medal win against Canada's Adonis Stevens in 2006.
HIT: Australia's Jarrod Fletcher (blue) in action during his gold medal win against Canada's Adonis Stevens in 2006. DEAN LEWINS

Our athletes won't be under more pressure on home soil

THE GAMES: The last Fraser Coast man to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal on home soil believes our athletes won't be fazed by performing on the home stage.

Jarrod Fletcher was 22 when he won gold in the middleweight (75kg) boxing division at the Melbourne Games in 2006, the last time the event was held in Australia.

"That was probably the biggest and best thing I've ever done," Fletcher said.

Fletcher, who retired in 2015, said he believed Australia's 473 athletes, including Fraser Coast duo Matthew Hauser, Jordan Kerby, as well as Maryborough's New Zealand hockey reps Grace O'Hanlon and Mark Hager, have done all they can to be ready.

He was 22 when he won gold at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, but he said athletes would not feel pressure if they were properly prepared to compete.

 

Australia's Jarrod Fletcher celebrates his gold medal win in the middleweight 75kg bout at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Melbourne, Saturday, March 25, 2006. Fletcher defeated Canada's Adonis Stevenson. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, INTL OUT
Australia's Jarrod Fletcher celebrates his gold medal win in the middleweight 75kg bout at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Melbourne, Saturday, March 25, 2006. Fletcher defeated Canada's Adonis Stevenson. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, INTL OUT DEAN LEWINS

"It all comes back to preparation," the 34-year-old said.

"If you've prepared properly for it, done everything you can and go in there with a clear head, you'd prefer to be in front of a home crowd rather than a foreign country. It all comes down to the preparation, you just have to dot the I's and cross the tees before you get into it."

Fletcher, who carried the Queen's Baton at the picturesque Urangan Pier last Sunday, described his 2006 Games campaign as "surreal", but also as the best thing he's ever done.

"Being there in front of family, friends, the crowd, that was my perfect tournament," Fletcher said. "I didn't have one injury leading into it, my preparation was great, everything was perfect. It felt like it was meant to be.

"I hoped for a medal, but to win the gold showed all the hard work paid off, it was a very special moment.

"Words can't describe the way I felt. It was surreal having everyone there, it was something I always dreamed about and it came true, it was something I'll remember for the rest of my life."



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