Games of Firsts kicks-off as first medallists and record-breakers make history on the Gold Coast
Competition underway with 13 sports across 14 venues on Day One
Flora Duffy wins Games’ first Gold medal and becomes Bermuda’s first ever female Commonwealth gold medallist
First Commonwealth record broken by Izhar Ahmad of Malaysia in men’s 56kg weightlifting in Commonwealth Games debut
At what is being dubbed the “Games of Firsts”, Day One of Gold Coast 2018 saw a flurry of firsts, with Bermuda securing the honour of first medal of the Games at Southport Broadwater Parklands. Triathlete Flora Duffy won the first Gold of the Games, becoming Bermuda’s first ever female Commonwealth Gold medallist. The World No.1 finished in a time of 56 minutes and 50 seconds, with England’s Jessica Learmonth claiming silver, 43 seconds behind, and Joanna Brown from Canada taking bronze a further five seconds later.
Flora competed at both the Melbourne 2006 (age 18) and at Glasgow 2014, placing 8th. Commenting on her historic win, Flora said: “I am from a tiny country with not a lot of medallists so I am expected to win. I try to forget about it because I do it every week, so that’s how I deal with the pressure. There’s a 50-foot poster of me in town. Being an introvert it gets a bit much, but it’s great to inspire.”
In a remarkable first day of competition in South East Queensland, Australia, Malaysia’s Izhar Ahmad won the first Men’s Gold medal of the Games by winning the men’s 56kg weightlifting, and, at the same time, breaking the first Commonwealth record of the Games. He lifted a total of 261kg at the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre, with his third clean and jerk of 144kg securing the record and an unbeatable lead in a dominant performance.
Izhar Ahmad said: “I am extremely happy and proud to have won this event. At the same time, I’m happy to have broken the national record in Malaysia after 16 years. I dedicate this medal to my country and family.”
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Louise Martin CBE last night cited Gold Coast 2018 as the “Games of Firsts” – a statement quickly validated by a flurry of phenomenal firsts that occurred on day one of competition. The Games have been widely applauded as the first multi-sports event ever with a Reconciliation Action Plan and an equal number of medal events for men and women; and the largest-ever integrated para-sport programme in Commonwealth Games history.
Congratulating all participating athletes on day one of competition, CGF President Louise Martin CBE said: “This is what Commonwealth Sport is all about. Athletes from diverse countries and cultures are all competing on the same playing field and vying to be the best in our family of nations. It is tremendous to see Bermuda secure its first female gold medal and Malaysia break the first Commonwealth record of these Games. We couldn’t be happier for them.”