Commonwealth success is not always the most reliable indicator of Olympic glory, but there have been many instances where it has served as a springboard.
In 2006, Jess Ennis-Hill won bronze in Melbourne aged just 19 and used that as a launch pad for a career that would earn her Olympic gold in London six years later.
After eleven exciting days of competition at Birmingham 2022, we now have a chance to see who could follow in Ennis-Hills footsteps and turn Commonwealth silverware into an Olympic medal, with Paris just two years away.
Delicious Orie (boxing)
The super heavyweight from nearby Wolverhampton showed that he’s more than just a big name when he clinched England’s only gold medal in men’s boxing in Birmingham. That included beating world bronze medalist Nigel Paul of Trinidad and Tobago in his opening bout, and apart from a slightly dodgy opening round in the final, Orie never looked troubled. He’s a bit taller than Galal Yafai, who won gold on the Gold Coast and backed it in Tokyo, but Orie seems like the best choice to emulate in Paris.
Jake Jarman (gymnastics)
With Max Whitlock commentating, England needed a new gymnast to step into the limelight and Jarman did that and more as he won four gold medals, the first gymnast ever to do so at the Commonwealth Games. Jarman hails from the same club as four-time Olympic gold medalist Louis Smith and is no one-trick pony, as he showed by taking all-around gold. That said, if there’s one trick that makes an audible gasp, it’s his incredible vaulting performances.
Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (diving)
Britain has been blessed with two diving superstars in the past decade and a half in Tom Daley and Jack Laugher, and now a new star is emerging. At just 17 years old, Spendolini-Sirieix, formerly best known as the daughter of Fred Sirieix of First Dates, helped her to two gold medals and one silver medal at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre. Competing in Tokyo, she finished seventh in the 10m platform and could be a contender to do better in 2024.
Emma Finucane (cycling)
Wales has a rich history in track cycling and 19-year-old Finucane seems poised to take the mantle of the likes of Elinor Barker and Becky North. The teenager won team sprint and individual bronzes in Birmingham and looks ready to make the step up to the full GB team. The British track cycling pedigree is unrivaled and two years from Paris it looks like Finucane could extend that legacy.
Daniel Wiffen (swimming)
County Down’s Wiffen was unfortunate enough to miss out on a 400m freestyle medal, which was overtaken by defending champion and former Olympic gold medalist Mack Horton. The 21-year-old didn’t want to let the same thing happen in the 1500m as he took silver behind another Australian, 18-year-old Sam Short. Michelle Smith is the only swimmer to ever win an Olympic medal for Ireland, could Wiffen be second?
Alex Yee (Triathlon)
A very different profile than the majority of the candidates on this list. Yee is already an Olympic silver medalist – and a gold medalist in the triathlon mixed relay. But after his dramatic men’s triathlon victory over World Cup rival Hayden Wilde, Yee appears to have what it takes to become the sport’s dominant force. When he’s on the run, he’s nearly unbeatable, and there’s a good chance Yee will convert Paris’ silver to gold.
Katie Shanahan (swimming)
Between Australia and Canada, every swimming medal had to be earned in Birmingham and 18-year-old Shanahan claimed two bronze medals. Shanahan swam lane one in the 400m individual medley and set Scotland on course with an unlikely bronze medal to a winning clash in the pool and did it again in the 200m backstroke to show their versatility.
Kate O’Connor (Heptathlon)
Speaking of versatility: Northern Ireland’s Kate O’Connor showed her all-round talent on her way to winning the heptathlon. The 21-year-old appeared at her second Commonwealth Games and thrived on the big stage. With a mammoth throw in the javelin, she consolidated her position as a medal contender after the first day. At an event where athletes mature later than other disciplines, the fact that O’Connor already has a major medal under his belt certainly bodes well for the future.
Rosie Eccles (boxing)
It would be too easy to draw a parallel between Rosie Eccles and her Welsh boxer Lauren Price. In Gold Coast, Price won gold at middleweight before doing the same in Tokyo. Eccles has upgraded the silver she won in Australia to gold this time and looks like the best bet to win a women’s Olympic boxing medal in Paris.
Flora Peel (Hockey)
In a successful summer for women’s team sports, England’s ice hockey team matched the Lionesses with an impressive win over Australia in the final. A number of new players have appeared in a team with many familiar faces, including University of Birmingham graduate Flora Peel. Descended from former Prime Minister Sir Robert, Peel has a flashy name to match her flashy game. She will play a big role in 2024.
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https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/commonwealth-games/commonwealth-games-paris-2024-olympics-b2140967.html Ten stars of the Commonwealth Games will shine at the Paris 2024 Olympics