Athletics Australia’s team preparation for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games continued over the weekend with the Gold Coast GOLD Relay Camp at the Sports Super Centre.
The new world-class athletics track and field at the Runaway Bay venue was a hive of activity as the men’s 4x100m and women’s 4x400m squads came together for the first time since the IAAF World Championships in London earlier this year.
“We’ve got such a talented group, so you almost come to these camps expecting to really lift and not be at the bottom of the pit,” explained men’s 4x100m team captain, Tom Gamble.
“You want to be leading by example and making sure everybody’s firing. If you hang around and watch, you’ll see that we’re pretty intense when we train, and you need to have that expectation if you want to challenge the best in the world.”
The Sports Super Centre will be home base for Athletics Australia during the Games in April.
“I’ve been here a couple of times now for a training camp. This is the first time with the team,” said Anneliese Rubie.
“It’s the best facility with the pool and recovery, and it’s a really great track, so we’re pretty excited to come back here next year, I think it will be good.”
Earlier this year, the men’s 4x100m team of Gamble, Trae Williams, Alex Hartmann and Nick Andrews finished fourth in the final of the IAAF World Relay Championships in the Bahamas before going on to win the IAAF Diamond League event in London in a season-best time of 39.08.
The women’s 4x400m team of Rubie, Morgan Mitchell, Caitlin Sargent-Jones and Olivia Tauro finished fifth at the IAAF World Relay Championships. That effort was surpassed at the IAAF World Championships in London (Ella Connolly, Lauren Wells, Mitchell and Rubie), with a new season best of 3:28.02 despite not making the final.
Both squads are hoping to be in medal contention next April on the Gold Coast with the lure of performing in front of a home crowd providing added drive.
“It’s in our backyard, how could to not want to medal,” said Mitchell. “Could you imagine not medalling in Australia? That’s the goal, it’s realistic, and we really want it.”
While the Gold Coast wasn’t quite delivering on the weather it’s famous for, both squads were pleased to be back working together on their shared goals ahead of the domestic season.
“It’s good seeing everyone fit and happy and healthy,” Mitchell continued. “We’re all aiming individually, but we’re here for the relay, and that’s our main focus at this point in time.”
Gamble said that his teammates were expected to maintain the attitude of a world-class team following their results this season.
“We had a really successful year, so we’re looking to carry that on to the Commonwealth Games and into the future. This is a young team; the majority are only 20-21 so in the next ten years it’s going to be a fabulous team,” he said.
“I hope a lot of them don’t take it for granted that it is such a big event. The crowd’s really going to get behind them... To start off their career on the Gold Coast on home soil is going to be absolutely fabulous for their growth as a person and as an athlete.”
Proudly supported by Commonwealth Games Australia, membership to the Gold Coast GOLD Relay program ensures enhanced daily training environment and medical support for the nation’s best sprinters as they prepare to stake their claim for nomination to the Australian Commonwealth Games Team.
Athletics fans are reminded that around 10,000 extra tickets for the Gold Coast 2018 athletics program have today been released on a first-come, first-served basis.
CLICK HERE FOR GC2018 ATHLETICS TICKETS