Commonwealth Games 2022: Who are the home nation athletes to watch at Birmingham 2022?

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Dina Asher-Smith, Duncan Scott, Amy Conroy and Geraint Thomas
Dina Asher-Smith, Duncan Scott, Amy Conroy and Geraint Thomas will probably be among the many stars competing in Birmingham
Hosts: Birmingham Dates: 28 July to eight August
Protection: Watch reside on BBC TV with additional streams on BBC iPlayer, Purple Button, BBC Sport web site and BBC Sport cell app

The Commonwealth Video games are a uncommon alternative for athletes to swap the crimson, white and blue of Nice Britain for the colors of their house nation.

In order groups England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire gear up for the 2022 Video games in Birmingham, who can we count on to see among the many medals?

Listed below are those to look at from throughout the house nations.

Adam Peaty (swimming – England)

Adam Peaty
Adam Peaty has received the 100m breaststroke Commonwealth title on the final two Video games

The build-up to the Commonwealth Video games has been removed from the norm for three-time Olympic gold medallist Adam Peaty.

A damaged foot – the primary main harm of his profession – noticed him dominated out of the World Championships in Budapest final month, earlier than which his coach Mel Marshall mentioned it was “fairly tight” as as to if Peaty would make the Video games.

The 27-year-old is aiming to defend his 100m breaststroke Commonwealth title for a second time, in addition to trying to flip his 50m silver from 2018 into gold.

Peaty first made his identify on the Glasgow Commonwealths in 2014, successful two gold medals for Group England. He is since gone on to win 16 European titles and eight world titles, along with these Olympic golds.

Laura Kenny (biking – England)

Elinor Barker, Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald
Laura Kenny (centre) on the Glasgow 2014 podium alongside Wales’ Elinor Barker (left) and Scotland’s Katie Archibald (proper)

Nice Britain’s most profitable feminine Olympic athlete Laura Kenny did not compete on the 2018 Commonwealth Video games, having given start to her son Albie simply eight months earlier than.

However she is again for Birmingham, eight years after successful factors race gold in Glasgow along with her sights set on including to her Commonwealth haul.

Since successful her fifth and sixth Olympic medals in Tokyo final summer time, Kenny had a miscarriage and an ectopic being pregnant, however returned to biking in April.

She had been attributable to go up towards GB team-mate Katie Archibald on the observe at London’s Lee Valley VeloPark, however the Scot was pressured to withdraw from the Video games as she recovers from a collection of accidents.

Jake Wightman/Laura Muir (athletics – Scotland)

The 1500m races on the latest athletics World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, noticed two medals hung round British – and Scottish – necks, with gold for Jake Wightman within the males’s race and bronze for Laura Muir within the ladies’s.

In successful, Wightman, 28, grew to become first British man to win the world 1500m title since Steve Cram in 1983. He received bronze on the 2018 Commonwealths however will probably be trying to improve the color at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.

Earlier than Wightman’s success at Hayward Discipline, Muir bought the medal ball rolling along with her hard-fought bronze, her second world outside medal after successful Olympic silver final yr.

Muir hasn’t competed at a Commonwealth Video games since Glasgow 2014, when she completed eleventh, however now aged 29, she is likely one of the favourites to land a podium end this time round.

Be careful too for Scotland’s Olympic medallist Josh Kerr, who grew to become the primary British man to win a medal within the Olympic 1500m since 1988 when he received bronze in Tokyo final summer time.

He completed fifth on the World Championships forward of creating his Commonwealth Video games debut.

Amy Conroy (wheelchair basketball – England)

Wheelchair basketball will make its Commonwealth Video games debut in Birmingham, with the quick paced 3×3 format happening at Smithfield within the coronary heart of town.

Three-time Paralympian Conroy is certainly one of 4 athletes chosen for the English ladies’s staff, alongside Jade Atkin, Pleasure Haizelden and Charlotte Moore. She mentioned it is going to be an “absolute honour” to characterize Group England.

The 29-year-old – who misplaced her left leg by most cancers as a youngster – is a key member of the Nice Britain staff that received world championship silver in 2018, and European silver the next yr.

The 3×3 model of the game is performed on a half-court, with groups having simply 12 seconds to shoot throughout every section of play. Video games are performed over a single 10-minute interval.

Amy Conroy
Amy Conroy (centre) and wheelchair basketball will make their Commonwealth debuts in 2022

Rhys McClenaghan (gymnastics – Northern Eire)

Rhys McClenaghan rose to prominence 4 years in the past when he beat England’s then-two-time Olympic champion Max Whitlock to pommel horse gold on the Gold Coast.

At one level, it seemed like he would not be allowed to compete in Birmingham, after the Worldwide Gymnastics Federation (FIG) banned him as a result of he has represented Eire in worldwide competitors.

Nevertheless, in June, FIG modified its ruling after appreciable anger from Commonwealth Video games NI and a bunch of athletes and politicians, together with Northern Eire’s Secretary of State Brandon Lewis and Tánaiste (Irish deputy PM) Leo Varadkar.

Since his 2018 victory, 23-year-old McClenaghan has additionally received European gold and World Championship bronze, and with Whitlock opting to overlook the 2022 Commonwealths, he has a great likelihood of defending his title.

Dina Asher-Smith (athletics – England)

English sprinter Dina Asher-Smith has particular person titles at World and European degree however particular person Commonwealth gold has thus far evaded her.

The 26-year-old, a two-time Olympic medallist, helped England to the 4x100m relay title on Australia’s Gold Coast, in addition to successful 200m bronze.

After a combined begin to the season, she had seemed to have discovered her type for the busy summer time of athletics, equalling her 100m private greatest time on the latest World Championships and successful bronze within the 200m.

However a thriller harm, sustained within the 4x100m relay, might have caught a spanner within the works for the Commonwealths. Ought to she make it to the beginning line, she is prone to once more come up towards the likes of Jamaicans Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson, who took a clear sweep of the worlds 100m podium in Oregon.

And, with a house crowd behind her, can Asher-Smith use it to her benefit at Alexander Stadium?

Dina Asher-Smith
Dina Asher-Smith has but to win particular person gold on the Commonwealth Video games

James Ball (para-cycling – Wales)

Welsh Para-cyclist James Ball already has two silver medals from the Commonwealth Video games, however he will probably be hoping to face on the highest step 4 years on.

The visually impaired 31-year-old will re-ignite his on-track rivalry with Scotland’s Neil Fachie, who beat him to gold in each the tandem B dash and kilo on the 2018 Commonwealths, in addition to within the 1,000m time trial on the Tokyo Paralympics.

However the gold medals at World Championship degree have yo-yoed between the pair, with Ball taking dash gold and Fachie kilo gold on the final version in 2020.

Ball will probably be piloted by Matt Rotherham in Birmingham, who was Fachie’s pilot in Tokyo and on the Gold Coast in 2018.

Duncan Scott (swimming – Scotland)

Duncan Scott wrote his names within the historical past books final summer time when he grew to become the primary British athlete to win 4 medals at a single Olympic Video games along with his gold and three silvers.

A number of medals are the Scottish swimmer’s speciality – he introduced house six from the 2018 Commonwealths in Australia – however his build-up to this yr’s Video games hasn’t been clean crusing after he was pressured to tug out of June’s World Championships with points in his Covid-19 restoration.

He faces powerful competitors in Birmingham from England’s Tom Dean, who grew to become the brand new identify on everybody’s lips in 2021 when he received double gold on the Olympics, simply a few months after successful six medals on the European Championships.

The pair are anticipated to go head-to-head in six occasions on the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, however is there really a rivalry between them?

“We’re simply good mates – there’s nothing else to it actually,” mentioned Scott.

Bethany Firth (para-swimming – Northern Eire)

Such is Bethany Firth’s need to win Commonwealth Video games gold, she has delayed her honeymoon in an effort to put her all the pieces into successful the one main title lacking from her assortment.

Birmingham would be the first time Firth’s major occasion – the S14 200m freestyle – has been included within the Commonwealth Video games.

The 26-year-old already has six Paralympic golds and three European titles, and received 5 golds at June’s World Para-swimming Championships in Madeira.

“That is positively the one that’s lacking,” Firth mentioned of a Commonwealth gold medal. “I can’t lie, it’s in my head just about every single day.”

England’s Jessica-Jane Applegate received 5 medals in Madeira, and can compete towards Firth within the S14 200m freestyle – the occasion during which she was topped Paralympic champion at London 2012.

Bethany Firth
Bethany Firth received 5 world titles in Madeira earlier this yr

Geraint Thomas & Elinor Barker (biking – Wales)

Contemporary from ending third on the Tour de France, Geraint Thomas will swap his Ineos Grenadiers jersey for that of Group Wales as he prepares to compete in each the street race and time trial at his first Commonwealth Video games since 2014.

On that event, he received time trial bronze and street race gold – changing into the primary Welshman to win a Commonwealth Video games biking title.

Eight years on, Thomas is aware of the boys’s 160km street race course is not best for his probabilities. However he mentioned: “A lot can occur in a Commonwealth Video games”.

As for two-time Olympic medallist Elinor Barker, the Commonwealths mark her return to main championships biking after giving start to her son, Nico, in March.

Barker received factors race gold 4 years in the past however will deal with the ladies’s 112km street race in Warwick.

“It seems like a win to be chosen this time round,” she mentioned.

…and eventually groups

Not ones to look at, however a date – and groups – to look at. Sunday 7 August, which might be a large day for girls’s sport in England.

England have a great likelihood of reaching the finals of the hockey, cricket and netball, all of which occur on the penultimate day of the Commonwealth Video games.

England's netballers celebrate winning Commonwealth gold in 2018
England’s netballers have fun successful Commonwealth gold in 2018

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