Canadian sprint star Andre De Grasse has confirmed his intention to win if he gets the chance to compete at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April 2018.
The opportunity to see one of the world’s greatest athletes, and the man who many are calling ‘the heir to Usain Bolt’s throne’, will be a treat for Australian athletics fans as GOLDOC today releases additional high demand tickets for the Games on a first-come, first-served basis.
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GOLDOC will also release an additional allocation of 100,000 tickets across 21 of the sports disciplines with around 10,000 of these being for athletics at Carrara Stadium. This means that there are now tickets for sessions that were previously exhausted.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games shapes as unfinished business for 23-year-old De Grasse.
"At Glasgow I didn't make it out of the semi-finals,” De Grasse told News Corp.
“While the whole thing was a great experience, I didn't do well on the track and I'm determined to change that on the Gold Coast.”
Two years later at the Rio Olympics he won silver (200m) and bronze (100m) behind Usain Bolt and was looking like the man to beat at the 2017 World Championships before injury ruled him out of London.
“I was running fast last season, in 2017, and I’m looking forward to what I can do when I’m healthy and try to accomplish that, to be the fastest man in the world.
“The Commonwealth Games is an important part of that and I’m looking forward to getting down there.”
De Grasse will have plenty of competition at GC2018 aside from Bolt’s retirement and the injured Wayde Van Niekerk, there were another seven men from the Commonwealth who broke 10 seconds with legal winds in 2017.
Jamaican former world champion Yohan Blake and former world record holder Asafa Powell, who won at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006, are keen to start 2018 with a return to their best.
And they aren’t the only superstar athletes set to take to the Carrara Stadium track.
Jamaican 100m and 200m Olympic champion Elaine Thompson is the standout woman looking to the Gold Coast to claim more international titles. But as seen at the World Championships anything can happen. It will be interesting to see if she attempts the double and if 400m Olympic champion and 200m world championship medallist Shaunae Miller-Uibo (Bahamas) will run.
South African Olympic and world champion Caster Semenya has committed to attempt the 800 and 1500m double at GC2018. She won the 800m and got bronze in the 1500m at the world championships this year.
The Kenyans love running at the Commonwealth Games and world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri has plans to race the 10,000m at GC2018, while men’s 1500m world champion Elijah Manangoi has committed to lead a strong Kenyan team.
In the field, Kenya’s defending javelin champion and world championship medallist Julius Yego will have plenty of tough competition from former Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott (Trinidad and Tobago) and Australian Hamish Peacock.
The men’s long jump is looking like another event not to miss. South African world champion Luvo Manyonga is determined to win another major title but his teammate Ruswahl Samaai is confident after his world championship bronze. England’s Greg Rutherford has been selected to defend his title and is keen to return to the form that saw him win the Olympic title in 2012.
In the relays, England are buoyed by their medals in the 4x100m men’s and women’s at the London World Championships and Trinidad & Tobago are the current 4×400m world champions. The Jamaicans, Bahamas, Botswana and Australia will all be aiming for the podium.
The Aussies at home are bound to find their best form and with world champion Sally Pearson and world championship discus medallist Dani Stevens in top form there should be plenty of Australian medals.
GOLDOC CEO Mark Peters explained the rationale behind the additional tickets being made available to the general public.
“The final major release of tickets comes after GOLDOC was able to identify as many additional tickets as possible through the completion of venue seating plans, temporary structures, sight lines and camera positions, along with any tickets which have been returned to the general ticket sales pool from Games delivery partners.”
Athletics at Carrara Stadium with a capacity of 35,000 will be the hottest tickets in town.
Smart fans will get in quick when tickets go back on sale at 1pm AEST on Monday November 20 or risk missing out on the unforgettable world class Athletics at GC2018.
Ticket prices start from as little as $20 for adults and $10 for children and includes free public transport on event day within the South East Queensland TransLink public transport network.