GOLD COAST, Australia (Reuters) - Athletics at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games:
Capacity: 25,000 (40,000 gross with temporary seating)
Opened in 1987, the stadium was built primarily for Australian Rules football but has also hosted rugby union and rugby league matches. It underwent a $144 million redevelopment in 2011. While the permanent seating is 25,000, an additional 15,000 temporary seats can be added. Essentially an oval, the ground is also compliant as an international cricket venue. Currently the home ground of the AFL’s Gold Coast Suns, it hosted the first AFL Women’s final in 2017. Apart from athletics it will also host the opening and closing ceremonies.
April 8-April 15
Medal events (all times GMT):
April 8 - Men’s 20km race walk (2100 previous day)
Women’s 20km race walk (2315 previous day)
Men’s hammer throw (0400)
Men’s 5000m (0640)
April 9 - Men’s shot put (1025)
Women’s 10,000m (1035)
Women’s 100m (1150)
Men’s 100m (1215)
April 10 - Women’s triple jump (0935)
Men’s 110m hurdles (0945)
Women’s hammer throw (1040)
Men’s 400m (1148)
Women’s 1500m (1204)
April 11 - Women’s javelin (0915)
Women’s 3000m steeplechase (0945)
Men’s high jump (1005)
Men’s long jump (1032)
Women’s 400m (1145)
April 12 - Men’s pole vault (0925)
Women’s 400m hurdles (0930)
Men’s 400m hurdles (0945)
Women’s long jump (0955)
Women’s discus (1040)
Women’s 200m (1138)
Men’s 200m (1156)
Men’s 800m (1213)
April 13 - Women’s pole vault (0925)
Men’s 3000m steeplechase (0930)
Men’s discus (0945)
Women’s shot put (1040)
Women’s 800m (1045)
Men’s 10,000m (1110)
Women’s 100m hurdles (1209)
April 14 - Women’s high jump (0325)
Men’s javelin (0335)
Men’s 4x100m relay (0440)
Women’s 4x100m relay (0457)
Men’s triple jump (0515)
Women’s 5000m (0520)
Men’s 1500m (0610)
Women’s 4x400m relay (0638)
Men’s 4x400m relay (0707)
April 15 - Women’s marathon (2120 previous day)
Men’s marathon (2215 previous day)
Sally Pearson (Australia) - Sprint hurdler
The London 2012 100m hurdles champion has won the event at the last two Games in Delhi and Glasgow but enters the competition with a nagging Achilles problem. The 31-year-old burst back onto the international scene with an emotional victory at last year’s world’s championships after a broken wrist and hamstring injury robbed her of the previous two years.
Yohan Blake (Jamaica) - Sprinter
The 28-year-old sprinter has to fill the considerably large shoes of former training partner Usain Bolt following the eight-times Olympic gold medallist’s retirement after last year’s world championships. Blake has found himself in fourth at the last two major global championships but Canada’s Rio Olympics silver medallist Andre De Grasse decision to miss the Gold Coast event has cleared the path for his first individual gold since he won the 2011 world championship title.
Elaine Thompson (Jamaica) - Sprinter
The Rio Olympics 100m and 200m champion is a welcome boost to the athletics programme but has already said she will not attempt the double on the Gold Coast. The 25-year-old told Australian media after a warm-up meeting in Brisbane that she would concentrate on the 200m at Carrara Stadium.
Tom Walsh (New Zealand) - Shot putter
The shot-putter has been impressive in recent competition, recording a throw of 22.67m at a warm-up meeting in New Zealand. It was the longest throw in the world since 2003. The double indoor and 2017 world champion said the throw had been “pretty easy” and his goal now included breaking the world record of 23.12m set by Randy Barnes in 1990.
Valerie Adams (New Zealand) - Shot putter
The two-time Olympic champion is making her international comeback after having her first child less than five months ago. The 33-year-old has won the last three Commonwealth gold medals and while she has not been close to her best so early in her comeback, Adams relatively happy with the consistency she is achieving, with a recent series of throws all over 18m.
Castor Semenya (South Africa) - Middle distance runner
The two-time 800m Olympic champion has never competed at a Commonwealth Games having missed both the Delhi and Glasgow Games due to injury. Semenya won her third 800m world title and finished third in the 1500m last year in London and has targeted the 800-1500m double on the Gold Coast. Has already been named as her country’s flag bearer for the opening ceremony.
Retired Olympic champion Usain Bolt will visit the Games for the 100m final according to compatriot Yohan Blake.
“My friend Usain Bolt is coming as well; he’s coming to watch the 100m final,” Blake told reporters earlier this month.
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by John O'Brien