AIMING FOR GOLD: Australia’s Kimberley Mickle is the favourite for the women’s javelin at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
AIMING FOR GOLD: Australia’s Kimberley Mickle is the favourite for the women’s javelin at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. JEAN-CHRISTOPHE Bottepa

Challenges sure to come in track and field

AUSTRALIA has started the Glasgow Commonwealth Games with a swag of medals in the pool and at the velodrome, but the attention has started turning towards the track and field, where success is expected to be more elusive.

World champion Sally Pearson (women's 100m hurdles), Ben Harradine (men's discus), Kimberley Mickle (women's javelin), Dani Samuels (women's discus) and the Sunshine Coast's Alana Boyd (women's pole vault) are favourites to win their events.

But Australia could be hard-pressed to better its haul from Delhi, fours years ago, where it bagged 11 gold medals and finished a close second to Kenya in the medal tally for track and field.

"Traditionally we've been very good at coming number one in the Commonwealth, but I think the other nations have closed the gap, as Kenya showed in the last Games," Australian head coach Eric Hollingsworth told AAP.

"We can't take anything for granted. Canada is back on the radar again and obviously England, with essentially a home championships, will be the favourites from my point of view, but we revel in that underdog situation."

The action starts at Hampden Park tonight with the heats of the men's and women's 100m, men's shot put qualifying, the women's hammer throw and 400m and the men's 5000m final.

Australia's Alex Rowe was considered a medal chance in the 800m but withdrew yesterday due to injury.

Australia added five gold medals and 12 minor medals to its Games total on Friday night and Saturday morning.

Jack Bobridge, 26, won the men's individual pursuit at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. He beat Alex Edmondson in the final, a day after the two of them shared team pursuit gold.

"I said after qualifying it was always going to be a win. If he won or I won it was a win for Australian cycling and to see both of us up there was fantastic," Bobridge said.

"Alex is like a brother to me now and we're going to be together right through to Rio and hopefully beyond."

Meanwhile, shooter Laura Coles won the women's skeet.

But it was in the water where there was most to celebrate.

Thomas Fraser-Holmes won the men's 200m freestyle and Leiston Pickett the women's 50m breaststroke and Maddison Elliott claimed the world record with a time of 1:05,32 in the para-sport women's 100m freestyle (s8) final.

The men's 4x100m freestyle relay team - Matthew Abood, James Magnussen, Cameron McEvoy and Tommaso D'Orsogna - emulated the women by winning their event in a Games record time of 3:13.44.