IT was the late 1850s when the first miners took both their hopes and dreams to Queensland in search of gold.
Now, more than 150 years on, athletes from around the world have begun pouring into the Gold Coast, again in search of precious metal.
West Australia’s Commonwealth Games contingent was sent off in style last week.
The group, including the athletics squad, hockey teams, netballers and swimmers, were bid farewell at a luncheon at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.
With Australia claiming the previous three women’s hockey gold medals, Hockeyroos star Stephanie Kershaw said the aim was clear.
“To be honest I’d be pretty disappointed with anything other than gold,” she said.
“I think we have the team that can do really well and should do really well.
“It depends on the day, what happens during the game, but I think with the team we have we’re definitely going for gold.”
Pole vaulter Nina Kennedy, who in February set a new PB of 4.71m before clearing 4.6m at the World Indoor Championships to place eighth, said she “would love to finish on the podium”.
“I would love to jump a consistent 4.60 like I’ve been jumping all season,” she said.
“But also if I jump my best, no matter what placing I get, I’ll be happy.
“Anything can happen on the day: the weather, the favourite could bail out, I could bail out, anything could happen.”
The Games will be held from April 4 to 15.