Take a look at Sports.net’s betting preview for some of the most eagerly anticipated battles at the XXI Commonwealth Games.
Men’s 100 Metres
The recently retired Usain Bolt will be a big miss for this year’s Commonwealth Games, but the event has to move on from its biggest and brightest star and discover the champions of the future.
The Jamaican is likely to be in attendance at the final and, whilst his mere presence will pull some of the focus, there is still liable to be thrilling tussle on the track. Bolt’s compatriot Yohan Blake is a strong contender as Jamaica’s track team looks to pick the momentum up again following a disappointing showing in the World Championships last year.
England’s Adam Gemili, silver medallist in 2014, will look to go one better than in Glasgow and add to the 4x100 relay golds he currently holds from the European and World Championships. His teammate Zharnel Hughes, a former training partner of Bolt, will prove stiff competition if he can put a tough few months behind him in which he was the victim of an armed robbery in Jamaica and split up from his girlfriend, fellow athlete Dina Asher-Smith.
With a couple of big names missing out through injury, including Canada’s Andre De Grasse, this looks like Blake has it in the bag, if only by a whisker.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip - Yohan Blake to win gold
Women’s 100 Metres
With Jamaican star Elaine Thompson opting to concentrate on the 200 metres, the women’s 100 metres is wide open and England’s Dina Asher-Smith will fancy her chances. The British record holder may be more comfortable over double the distance, but that doesn’t mean she should be discounted.
Aside from Asher-Smith, Jamaica’s Christania Williams is in decent form going into the games. Trinidad’s opening ceremony flagbearer Michelle-Lee Ahye is another one to watch as she aims to win her first individual senior medal.
Asher-Smith has had the beating of Williams already this year and, although this could be extremely tight, she’s worth a speculative punt.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip - Dina Asher-Smith to win gold.
Australia are traditionally the prominent nation in the pool at the Commonwealth Games and in home water they should achieve their target of at least half of the 50 possible swimming gold medals without too much fuss. Their main challengers are England and Canada, with South Africa looking to make a splash on the Gold Coast too.
England’s Adam Peaty offers the best chance of British success, racing in the men’s 50 metre and 100 metre breaststroke. The Staffordshire star was also due to compete over 200 metres, but pulled out of the longer race to concentrate on bringing home gold over the shorter distances.
That news will be music to the ears of Scotland’s Ross Murdoch, who will defend his 200 metre title at the games. However, Aussie Matt Wilson is on fire this year and should prove tough competition.
One of the most eagerly anticipated battles will take place in the women’s freestyle, where multiple world record holder Cate Campbell leaps back into international action after a year’s break. Although she didn’t reach her potential at the Rio Olympics, the Queensland resident won at both 50 and 100 metres in the Australian trials and will be raring to go again at her home games. However, her sister Bronte will be snapping at her heels, and joint 100 metre Olympic champ Penny Oleksiak has the psychological advantage after events in Brazil, which may be enough to clinch another win.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip: Penny Oleksiak to win gold in the 100 metre freestyle