Emma Moffatt spearheads early Glasgow medal hopes
EMMA Moffatt has been the star of the Australian women's triathlon team for the past six years, winning a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics and taking out the ITU world championship in 2009 and 2010.
But winning gold in Glasgow would realise a lifelong ambition for the 29-year-old Gold Coast resident who grew up in the Northern NSW seaside town of Woolgoolga.
Moffatt was a spectator at the 2006 Games in Melbourne, and with the sport dropped from the program in Delhi four years ago, Glasgow represents her first and probably last opportunity to triumph at a Commonwealth Games.
"Making the Commonwealth Games has always been a dream, and being in the crowd in Melbourne and watching Emma Snowsill and Brad (Kahlefeldt) win gold for Australia was such a great day," she said.
With injuries having forced Snowsill to retire, Moffatt will be joined on the start line in Glasgow by two Queenslanders, Emma Jackson and Ashleigh Gentle.
The trio will give Australia a great chance of securing the first gold medal to be decided at the Games, with the women's triathlon due to start at 8pm tonight.
The men's event is scheduled to start at midnight, with Australia to be represented by former U23 world champion Aaron Royle, Dan Wilson and rising star Ryan Baillie.
The man to beat however will be Englishman Alistair Brownlee, the gold medallist from the London Olympics in 2012.
IT could be a big night for the McKeon family with David and Emma both in with a great chance of winning gold in the pool at the Tollcross Swimming Centre.
David, 21, will kick off his program in tonight's 400m freestyle heats (the swimming starts at 7.30pm), and is the hot favourite to win gold in tomorrow morning's final (4.05am). And 20-year-old sister Emma is also expected to take out the women's 200m freestyle on her way to becoming one of the new stars of Australia's next golden generation of swimmers.
The McKeons have swimming in their DNA. Dad Ron won gold in the 200m and 400m freestyle at the 1978 Commonwealth Games, and mum Susie Woodhouse competed in the pool at the 1982 Games in Brisbane.
Other great gold medal hopes on day one include Alicia Coutts, Christian Sprenger and the women's 4x100m freestyle relay team which is targeting a world record.
AUSTRALIA and England are expected to dominate the track cycling which starts at 8pm at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. A handful of finals will be decided on day one, with Australia the team to beat in the men's 4000m team pursuit led by Jack Bobridge, although 2012 Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins will throw down the gauntlet for England.
The Aussies also have an outstanding team sprint line-up, spearheaded by rising superstar Matthew Glaetzer.
Aussie flagbearer Anna Meares will also be the rider to beat in the 500m time trial.