5 big questions for May

3 May 2017

It's already May! 

As the winter season is now wrapped up a host of summer sports are warming up. We find out what questions will be answered through the month of May as some of the nation's finest look to excel on Australian shores and abroad. 

 

Wells Charlottes Pass

  •      Who will fly and flip their way to an Australian title?

The month of May will see both the national championships for gymnastics and diving as our acrobatic and artistic athletes get their chance to shine.

The 2017 Diving Australian Open Championships will take place at Sydney Olympic Park and will double as the selection trials for the 2017 World Championships. The event will no doubt feature a host of Olympians and the next crop of diving stars as the journey towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games begins. Rio 2016 medallists Anabelle Smith and Maddison Keeney, Melissa Wu and Georgia Sheehan have all won World Series medals in the past couple of months and will be hoping to continue their high flying form at the home of the 2000 Games.

Australia has some of the top ranked World Cup gymnasts and they’ll put on a spectacle on home soil at the 2017 Australian Gymnastics Championships at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena. Emily Little has been brilliant this year and currently leads the individual artistic apparatus world rankings in three disciplines – balance beam, vault and floor. Occupying the top two spots on the other discipline – the uneven bars – are Aussies Rianna Mizzen and Georgia-Rose Brown who have both started the season in fine form. Chris Remkes has impressed on both the floor and vault while Mitchell Morgans currently tops the horizontal bars rankings. On the trampoline currently world number 7 Daniel Hancock and dual Olympian Blake Gaudry will fight it out in what will be an enthralling battle. You can secure your tickets here>>>

 

2. Will our Aussie Sevens teams push up the ladder?

After a high player turnover and injuries ensured a tough start to the 2016/17 World Series, the Aussie men have bounced back over the past few tournaments. The side has made the semi-finals at the past two events and will be hoping for a strong finish to round out the season at both the London and Paris Sevens in May. Henry Hutchison has backed up his stellar rookie season and remains the side’s leading try-scorer having crossed the stripe 24 times this series.

After four events our World Series defending women are yet to win a tournament this season as they head into their penultimate event at Langford, Canada. They finished third at the last tournament in Japan and are still within reach of the table-topping New Zealand side. The Aussies are ten points behind the Kiwis so will likely need to win both of the next two tournaments in Langford, and then next month in Clermont, to have a chance at sneaking past their Trans-Tasman rivals and retaining their title. They’ll have to do it without star Ellia Green though who is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL.

Wells Charlottes Pass

3. Can the Aussies cause an upset at Roland Garros?

After success in both the recent Davis Cup and Fed Cup tournaments there is plenty of momentum amongst Australia's leading tennis talent. An Aussie hasn't lifted a singles trophy aloft at Roland Garros since 1969 for the men (Rod Laver) and 1971 (Evonne Goolagong) for the women but the Australian contingent will be hoping to make a deep run against the world's best in the French capital. 

Nick Kyrgios will be hoping his hot form continues having made the semi-finals at the Miami Masters before winning both his Davis Cup matches in straight sets. Bernard Tomic has not been at his best but could surprise while Jordan Thompson, James Duckworth and John Millman will all be hoping to cause an upset or two.

World number 19 Sam Stosur made the final in 2010 and will again be one of Australia's leading contenders in the female draw. Her Rio 2016 teammate Daria Gavrilova won both of her recent Fed Cup clashes and heads into the tournament as the world number 26. Ash Barty continues her rise up the rankings while the likes of Lizzette Cabrera and Arina Rodionova will be hoping to qualify for the year's second major. 

Wells Charlottes Pass

4. Can our Aussies get off to a flyer as the Diamond League season kicks off in Doha?

The international athletics season kicks into gear as our Aussie athletes begin to prepare for the World Championships to be held in London in August. Hamish Peacock made his Olympic debut at Rio and if he can get close to his PB of 84.39m he could push a field that features reigning World Champion Julius Yego. Ryan Gregson was one of the top stories of the Rio 2016 Games after he was the first Australian in 40 years to make it through to the 1500m final. He will no doubt be in contention as will his partner and dual Olympian Genevieve Lecaze who will line up in the 3000m steeplechase.

5. Can our Aussie water polo women bounce back from Rio 2016 disappointment?

After missing the medals at Rio our Aussie women’s water polo team will be looking to get straight back on track as they take to the pool at the Intercontinental World League event. At their first major tournament since Rio, the side will line up against Canada, China, Japan, Kazakhstan and long-time rivals USA on their home turf. The side will have to finish in the top three at the event to make it through to the World League Finals which Australia has never won despite having made the final four times.

Matt Bartolo
olympics.com.au

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