The Commonwealth Games | Gold Coast, Australia | April 4 – 15

Jamaica's Elaine Thompson and other athletes
Jamaica's Elaine Thompson and other athletes

(BBC.com) From triathlete Lauren Parker, paralysed less than 12 months ago, to swimmer Chad le Clos, aiming to become the most decorated male Commonwealths competitor of all time, there are compelling stories to follow among the global names competing on the Gold Coast.

There is also a double Olympic champion aiming to break the oldest track world record and a boxer whose two brothers – one of them a Commonwealth boxing medallist – died in a car accident before she was born.

We have taken a look at some of the big names who will be in action in Australia…

There is usually a poster girl or boy at a major championships and on the Gold Coast that title belongs to Sally Pearson, the London 2012 Olympic 100m hurdles champion and two-time world and Commonwealth gold medallist.

Pearson, who spent most of her childhood in Queensland, overcame three injury-riddled years to take a shock World Championship gold in London last summer. She was tweeted by actor Russell Crowe on Wednesday, who, in the wake of Australia’s cricket ball-tampering scandal, wrote: “Come on Sally Pearson, you can do it. We need you Sally. Heroes are hard to find around these parts these days.”

No pressure, then.

Usain Bolt may have retired but Jamaica still has an Olympic champion sprinter on the world stage.

Elaine Thompson
Elaine Thompson

Elaine Thompson joined the list of athletics greats when she achieved the 100m and 200m sprint double at Rio 2016. However, in the 2017 World Championships the 25-year-old only managed fifth in the 100m final after a poor start.

Thompson says she is using the Commonwealth Games to prepare for the Diamond League this summer and will only run in the 200m and 4x100m relay on the Gold Coast.

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