Olympic medallists and reigning Commonwealth Games champions are among more than 20 NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) athletes selected so far to represent Australia at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
With just 50 days to go to the start of the Games, NSWIS athletes in the sports of table tennis, triathlon, weightlifting, athletics, swimming and diving are preparing to pack their bags for the 21st Commonwealth Games, taking place in England for the third time.
Among them is NSWIS diving superstar, Melissa Wu, who will make her fifth appearance at the Commonwealth Games, becoming the first Australian diver to achieve this milestone. The 30-year-old emerged at Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games with rare world-class potential where she claimed a silver medal on debut as a 13-year-old and will partner with another teenager in the 10-metre platform synchronised diving at these Games.
Also on her way to Birmingham is reigning Commonwealth Games Champion Madison de Rozario OAM. Madison is attempting to repeat her gold medal performances at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where she won the women’s marathon T54 and 1500m T54.
On debut is 32-year-old para table tennis hopeful Jessy Chen, who found solace through sport after a violent invasion of his family home left him paralysed from the waist down.
Also on debut is middle-distance record holder Jessica Hull, who in 2020 became the first Australian woman to hold the 1500m (4:00.42), 3000m and 5000m (14:43.80) national records at the same time. The Olympic finalist is seeking Australia’s first women’s 5000m title at the Commonwealth Games since Kate Richardson in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.
In swimming, 2018 Commonwealth Games medallists Matthew Wilson, who won bronze in the 200m breaststroke and Bradley Woodward, who picked up silver medals in the 100 metre and the 200 metre backstroke events, are also on their way to Birmingham.
As is the nation’s most decorated Paralympic swimmer, Ellie Cole OAM. It will be Ellie’s third appearance at the Commonwealth Games, having competed at the 2010 and 2018 Games, but despite her illustrious record of 17 medals at the Paralympics, she’s yet to snare a Commonwealth Games gold medal. She has come close, with a silver and three bronze, but wants the full set when she takes the blocks in the 100m freestyle (S9).
The 21st Commonwealth Games take place in Birmingham from 28 July – 8 August 2022 and more Team selections will take place in the coming weeks.