Commonwealth Games: Guide to all the sports

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ATHLETICS

(Bukit Jalil main stadium)

Scotland's Dougie Walker, despite recent knee surgery, has emerged as favourite for the 200 metres gold due to the late withdrawal of Frankie Fredericks. Other absentees include Colin Jackson, but Mark Richardson, Iwan Thomas, Denise Lewis and Kelly Holmes head a strong field from the home countries. Watch out for Benedict Ballantyne, the one medal hope of the St Vincent and The Grenadines islands, who runs in the marathon.

BADMINTON

(Kuala Lumpur badminton stadium)

The host country, Malaysia, coached by Denmark's former world champion, Morten Frost, will be almost suicidal if they do not win three golds in what is virtually their national sport. England's best chance of a medal lie in the doubles and team events.

BOWLS

(Lawn bowls complex, Bukit Kiara)

A sixty-year-old Scot and a Filipina mother are among the favourites. Willie Wood is bidding to become the oldest individual winner at the Games, 16 years after lifting his first gold medal for Scotland, while Carmen Anderson, the reigning women's world champion, is a Filipina now representing the tiny Norfolk Island. England have Tony Allcock ready to go one better than silver in 1994.

BOXING

(Shah Alam Indoor Stadium)

Lennox Lewis, Barry McGuigan, Azumah Nelson, Mike McCallum - the Commonwealth Games can boast a rich pedigree of boxing gold medallists who went on to become professional world champions. However, fighters of that quality are now in short supply, but Scotland believe their featherweight, Alex Arthur, could one day challenge Naseem Hamed.

CRICKET

(Royal Selangor Club)

England cited fixture congestion as the reason for not sending a team to play in the sport's debut at the Games. All the other Test-playing nations are there, with Muttiah Muralitharan's Sri Lanka expected to carry on where they left off at The Oval.

CYCLING

(Kuala Lumpur Velodrome)

Festina rider Neil Stephens will be hoping to put the Tour de France drugs controversy behind him as Australia attempt to dominate the track events, while New Zealand do likewise on the road. Watch out for the duel between Yvonne McGregor, England's only gold medallist in 1994, and the Australian Lucy Tyler-Sharman in the 28km individual time trial.

DIVING

(Swimming complex, Bukit Jalil)

Robert Morgan has won every colour of medal in his previous four trips to the Games and the 31-year-old Welsh master of the platform considers he is back to his best. Leon Talyor, Tony Ali and Jane Smith are England's best bets.

GYMNASTICS

(Indoor stadium, Bukit Jalil)

Andrew Atherton heads an England men's team who expect to give Canada, Australia and Malaysia a run for their money. Annika Reeder, who at 18 considers herself two years away from retirement, is only 90 per cent fit and will struggle to repeat her 1994 gold medal triumph.

HOCKEY

(Hockey stadium, Bukit Jalil)

Another sport making its debut, with Australia, led by Michael York, New Zealand and Pakistan expected to share the medals. Wales' women have had an unsettled start with a eight players laid low by food poisoning.

NETBALL

(Netball stadium, Bukit Kiara)

Surprisingly, the hotbeds for this debut sport are Australia and New Zealand. England's chances of a medal are slim, having been drawn against the world champions from Oz and Jamaica, who beat them in a recent three Test series.

RUGBY

(Petaling Jaya Stadium)

Wales hopes took a dive yesterday when a redraw pitted them against Fiji, the favourites, in the sevens tournament that sees rugby at the Games for the first time. England, led by Chris Sheasby, will likewise struggle to make any impression in the company of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Western Samoa.

SHOOTING

(Langkawi Shooting Range)

This has traditionally been a strong sport for the home countries, but the tightening of gun controls in the wake of Dunblane have left their mark. England's Antony Ringer is expected to figure in the men's full bore rifle. India's Jaspal Rana will be aiming to add to the two pistol golds he won in Canada.

SQUASH

(Sports Complex, Bukit Jalil)

World No 1 Peter Nicol of Scotland took just 13 minutes to win his first- round match yesterday and it is unlikely that anyone will prevent a gold medal showdown with Canada's Jonathon Power. Australia's Sarah Fitzgerald and Michelle Martin, the British Open winner for the last five years, should contest the women's final.

SWIMMING

(Swimming complex, Bukit Jalil)

If Michael Klim, Ian Thorpe and Kieren Perkins have their way, we could all be tired of the Australian national anthem by the end of the Games. The programme begins tomorrow and the Australians are expected to win the majority of the 32 gold medals on offer. England and Canada are the main challengers, with Susan Rolph and veteran Karen Pickering particularly tipped for medals.

TENPIN BOWLING

(Pyramid Bowl, Sunway City)

Brought to the Games for the first time largely because the host country and Singapore are the favourites to win it.

WEIGHTLIFTING

(Sports Complex, Bukit Jalil)

The Pacific island of Nauru expect Marcus Stephen to take home gold in the 62kg category, while England's Giles Greenwood will find out if he can live with Australia's Stefan Botev in the super-heavyweight contest.

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