Laura Kenny leads for medal after spectacular opening of Commonwealth Games

Laura Kenny, Alex Yee and James Wilby are among the medalists from Tokyo aiming for the podium when the Commonwealth Games get underway in Birmingham on Friday.

With medals on offer in four sports on the opening day of the promotion, the PA News Agency picks five likely home nation highlights.

To swim

James Wilby hopes to expand his medal haul at the Commonwealth Games (Zac Goodwin/PA).

(PA wire)

James Wilby will look to kick start England’s gold rush in pool as he defends his men’s 200m breaststroke title. Scotsman Ross Murdoch, who finished second to Wilby on the Gold Coast four years ago, may have other ideas. Birkenhead’s Freya Anderson is in the women’s 200m freestyle alongside Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus, while Dan Jervis of Wales competes in the men’s 400m freestyle.

To go biking

Laura Kenny is aiming for her second Commonwealth Games gold medal (John Walton/PA)

(PA wire)

Dame Laura Kenny will be in action when track cycling gets underway at the Lee Valley Velodrome in London, competing alongside Josie Knight, Maddie Leech and Grace Lister in the women’s team pursuit. And husband Jason will coach as Ryan Owens, Joe Truman and Hamish Turnbull chase gold in the men’s team sprint.

gymnastics

Joe Fraser will compete in front of his hometown fans (Mike Egerton/PA)

(PA Archive)

Birmingham-born Joe Fraser, former world parallel bars champion, will lead England’s bid to win the men’s team title at the NEC on a day that also serves as an individual qualifier. Veteran duo Frank Baines and Hamish Carter will be hoping to lead Scotland to at least a silver medal position, while Northern Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan is attempting to qualify on the pommel.

triathlon

Alex Yee took a silver medal in Tokyo (Martin Rickett/PA)

(PA Archive)

Alex Yee is a big favorite to build on his silver medal from the Tokyo Olympics as he is the star in men’s triathlon. The outcome of the women’s event is far less mixed as Georgia Taylor-Brown, like Yee a double medalist in Japan, faces stiff competition from former World Champion Non Stanford, representing Wales, and another World Champion in Bermuda, Flora Duffy.

netball

England’s netball stars want to retain their Commonwealth Games crown (Martin Rickett/PA)

(PA wire)

England’s bid to defend the netball title they so thrilledly won on the Gold Coast begins with a Group B game against Trinidad and Tobago. With a significant contingent of players present at the Gold Coast, Jess Thirlby’s side are full of confidence but will surely have to contend again with perennial favorites Australia and New Zealand.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/alex-yee-laura-kenny-birmingham-tokyo-gold-coast-b2133762.html Laura Kenny leads for medal after spectacular opening of Commonwealth Games

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