Female powerhouses in GC2018—find out who we’ll be watching at the Commonwealth Games

Out Of Your League is a series by Lauren Muggleton for Hot Chicks with Big Brains. It’s a fresh space for interviews and written pieces about various sportswomen, with a strong focus on the benefits of sport involvement. It’ll also touch on challenges to equal participation and the ways we can address these issues. We hope you’ll engage with this series and join our passionate team in exposing and overcoming the problems confronted by women in sport.

From the 4th to the 15th of April, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) will welcome 6,600+ athletes to share in the celebration of sport, culture, and entertainment. The Commonwealth Games movement has been at the forefront of the women’s sport evolution over the last decade and, for the first time ever, an equal number of men’s and women’s medal events will be contested.

Seven additional women’s events and categories in weightlifting, cycling, and boxing are also confirmed for this year, taking the total number of medal events to a record-breaking 275! Sally Pearson, Olympic and Commonwealth champion and GC2018 ambassador, said this “is a positive move for all sports” and that she is delighted that GC2018 will be the first Commonwealth Games reflecting true gender equality.

Among the many incredible women competing this year, there are eight women who have particularly sparked our interest. Whether it be because of their young age, their extensive list of Olympic titles, or purely because of their drive to be here, we suggest keeping a close eye on the following women at GC2018.

Nicol David

Nicknamed the ‘Roger Federer’ of squash, the 34-year-old Malaysian competitor is one not to miss. Having made her Commonwealth Games debut on home soil in 1998, Nicole heads to her 6th consecutive Games, aiming for her third straight singles gold. This will go nicely alongside her eight world championships.

Charlotte Caslick

The 22-year-old from Brisbane will be aiming to lead the women’s rugby sevens for the first time at the Commonwealth Games. There’s no bigger name in the program this year, and we’re hoping to see a successful outcome for the team to accompany their gold medal from Rio 2016.

Valerie Adams

After giving birth to her first child in October last year, the Kiwi shot-put superstar is heading to her fifth straight Commonwealth Games, eyeing her fourth gold medal. With four world championship crowns and two Olympic titles already under her belt, Adams is a leading figure in New Zealand athletics.

Anna Hursey

After developing her table tennis skills from as early as five-years-old, Hursey is believed to be the youngest person to ever represent Wales at senior level in any sport. Now at 11-years-old, she will be the youngest person to compete for Wales at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Elaine Thompson

The 25-year-old Jamaican track competitor became the first woman since US sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner in 1988 to win both the 100m and 200m at the same Olympics when she raced in Rio 2016. She’ll be looking to do the same at Carrara Stadium at the GC2018 games. Judging by her talent, Jamaica’s dominance on the track certainly won’t end with Usain Bolt’s retirement.

Kelly Cartwright

The Aussie, well known for her skills in track and field, will be switching things up this year by throwing all her strength into Para Powerlifting at GC2018. The two-time Paralympic medallist was named in the Australian Para Powerlifting team after training in the sport for only one year. Cartwright also has a two-year-old son and has previously competed in Dancing with the Stars. What can’t she do?

Pursala Venkata (P.V.) Sindhu

When Sindhu was eight, she travelled 56km each day to train at an internationally-acclaimed badminton academy in India. Her determination has never failed her and, at 21, she became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal. Sindhu will be aiming for the top spot in badminton at GC2018.

GRRRL

The all-female electronic music collaboration will be performing at the Main Stage in Surfers Paradise for Festival 2018. Their purpose? To tell their collective stories of life, inequality, conflict, and change through music. GRRRL will draw upon their different music styles and cultures to deliver an inspiring and powerful performance.

To see exclusive info about the GC2018 competitors, events and more, head over to their official website!


All individual images linked as above

All group images via Gold Coast 2018

Written by Lauren Muggleton

Edited by Emma Kate Lewis

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