Top 10 athletes to look out for at the Commonwealth Games
Published on Jul 23, 2014 1:02 PM
It might not have the prestige of the Olympics, or the sheer size of the Asian Games, but the Commonwealth Games remains a beloved quadrennial event among the athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. A total of 71 nations will be participating in 17 sports in the Scottish city of Glasgow from July 23 to Aug 3, and Singapore will be sending a 70-strong contingent to take part. Here are five foreign athletes and five local athletes to look out for at this Games.
1. Usain Bolt (Athletics)
Arguably the biggest name in world sport, the Jamaican's presence in Glasgow, albeit solely in the 4x100m relay, is a huge boost for the Games. The 27-year-old six-time Olympic gold medallist and double sprint world-record holder ensures that the world media’s attention will be focused on Glasgow. Fans will only be hoping that he might still be able to compete in individual events, and really light up the Games.
2. Mo Farah (Athletics)
Stormed to British acclaim when he won both the 5,000m and 10,000m at the 2012 London Olympics, Farah went on to win the double at the 2013 Moscow worlds but was unsure whether he would actually compete in Glasgow after dabbling with the marathon. After an eighth place in the London Marathon, he stepped back in distance and Glasgow breathed a sigh of relief.
3. Bradley Wiggins (Cycling)
The 34-year-old made history in 2012 when he became the first British rider to win the Tour de France, before going on to take the gold medal in the Olympics time trial. He had already won three track golds in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Knighted for his services to the sport, his record did not guarantee him a place at the 2014 Tour de France when he was dropped by his Sky team.
4. Alicia Coutts (Swimming)
Coutts, 26, has won 21 medals for Australia in major championships over the past four years. That haul included five medals at the 2012 Olympics including one gold. At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Coutts was the most decorated swimmer -- winning gold in the 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 200m individual medley, 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay.
5. Nicol David (Squash)
The 30-year-old seven-time world champion completed her collection of major international titles with Commonwealth Games gold in Delhi. In Glasgow, She will also be out to win Malaysia’s first medal in the women’s doubles with team-mate Low Wee Wern. David is an eight-time Asian champion and once also enjoyed a 13-month, 51-match winning streak, from March 2006 until April 2007.
1. Joseph Schooling (Swimming)
He holds a slew of national records and SEA Games gold medals, but so many have rated the 19-year-old as destined for bigger glories that he already shoulders the burden of winning Singapore's first Commonwealth Games swimming medal in Glasgow. Can he squeeze onto the podium amid the top-level competition from the likes of Australia, South Africa and Britain?
2. Martina Lindsay Veloso (Shooting)
n even rawer talent than Schooling, 14-year-old Martina shot to fame in June when she became Singapore's first female shooter to win an Isaf World Cup event in Munich. Despite having only two years' experience in the sport, she has improved so quickly that many feel she has a great chance at winning gold in Glasgow.
3. Feng Tianwei (Table tennis)
Once the bright upstart, Feng is now the veteran of the national women's table tennis team with the retirements of former stalwarts Li Jiawei and Wang Yuegu. She leads a new generation of players eager to sweep up the seven Commonwealth Games golds on offer, and will have to shoulder much of the responsibility in clinching the women's team, singles, doubles and even mixed doubles golds.
4. Mok Ying Ren (Athletics)
Last year's SEA Games gold medallist has set his eyes on reaching the 2016 Olympics, and this Games was part of his plan to improve on his personal-best time. However, a shin split suffered during training has hampered his chances of achieving his best time. Can he somehow overcome this setback?
5. Gai Bin (Shooting)
After his stunning performance at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, in which he won three golds, two silvers and two bronzes, the 46-year-old has been mired in a long slump. Can he regain his 2010 form and win both his events (50m pistol and 10m air pistol)?