Kicking off with a creative opening ceremony paying tribute to all things Australia, the 2018 Commonwealth Games are well underway on the Gold Coast.
Queensland has welcomed more than 6,600 athletes from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories, including a strong presence from the host nation.
UWA-West Coast’s Blair Evans has already joined in on the action, diving into the pool for the women’s 400m Individual Medley.
Blair started strong with a second place in her heat, finishing a tight three milliseconds behind fellow Australian, 21-year-old Meg Bailey.
Ranked fourth heading into the final behind Scotland’s Hannah Miley, England’s Aimee Wilmott, and the aforementioned Bailey, the race was the culmination of a year’s hard work and dominance in the pool for Blair.
A tight final finished with Blair taking the bronze medal, as the fastest Australian in the pool and the first to claim a swimming medal on the Gold Coast.
This is Blair’s second shot at the Games, having previously represented Australia as a teenager in Delhi.
The medley win is the first individual medal for the 27-year-old eight years after making her international debut.
There is plenty more action for UWA athletes yet to come, with action from UWA-West Coast’s three swim stars across the weekend.
On Sunday (8/4) Blair will be back in the pool for the 200m Individual Medley, while Zac Incerti will compete in the 50m men’s backstroke.
Brianna Throssell began her campaign with the 100m butterfly heats, where she finished with the sixth fastest time and first in her heat.
A third place in the first semi-final has seen Brianna progress to the final, where she will come up against fellow Australians Emma McKeon and Madeline Groves, as well as Rio gold medallist Penny Oleksiak.
UWA alumni Holly Barratt will also be competing in the pool, with backstroke races on Saturday and Tuesday.
Rounding out the UWA athletes, Nina Kennedy and Liz Parnov will square off in the women’s pole vault next Friday (13/4) with the hope of bringing home the gold on home soil.
The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games runs from 4 April to 15 April, and marks the fifth time Australia has hosted the multi-sport event. You can follow all the action here.
UWA Sport Graduate Officer, Marketing, Communications and Events