Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games set to start

Around 300 para-athletes from 20 countries will compete in 22 medal events across five sports, the most ever. 23 Jul 2014
Gordon Strachen at Hampden Park which will host the athletics at Glasgow 2014.

Scotland manager and Leeds United title winner Gordon Strachen taking part in the Glasgow 2014 Queen's Baton Relay.

ⒸGetty Images

The Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will take place in Great Britain on Wednesday evening (23 July) and once competition starts it will feature the biggest para-sport programme ever in the Games’ history.

Around 300 para-athletes from 20 countries will compete in 22 medal events across five sports: athletics, cycling, lawn bowls, powerlifting and swimming.

Nearly 100 athletes from 17 Commonwealth countries will compete in six medal events at Hampden Park in the athletics competition which gets underway on Sunday 27 July.

Four-time London 2012 gold medallist David Weir will compete for England in the 1,500m T54 on Thursday 31 July and his rivalry with Australia’s Kurt Fearnley and Canada’s Josh Cassidy could be one of the highlights of the Games.

Other big names set to feature include Scotland’s Libby Clegg (100m T12), Canada’s Diane Roy (1,500m T54), Australia’s Madison de Rozario (1,500m T54), South Africas’ Fanie van der Merwe (100m T37) and the English duo of Shelly Woods and Jade Jones (1,500m T54).

Welsh team captain Aled Davies will be optimistic of his chances in the discus F42/44, as will his good friend Dan Greaves of England.

The swimming competition will take place at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, a venue that will stage the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships.

Around 40 swimmers from 11 countries will compete in six medal events and big names to look out for include Australia’s Matt Cowdrey and Jacquleine Freney, New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe and England’s Ollie Hynd.

England’s recently crowned world champion Ali Jawad will be one of nearly 40 athletes from 15 countries taking part in the powerlifting competition, which features four medal events and will take place at the SECC Precinct on 2 August.

The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome will stage two track para-cycling medal events – the men’s and women’s 1,000m time trial B2.

Medal contenders include Australia’s five-time Paralympic gold medallist Kieran Modra (pilot Jason Niblett); his teammate Felicity Johnson (pilot Holly Takos), the two-time world and reigning Paralympic champions; and Scotland’s Neil Fachie (pilot Craig MacLean), who has won multiple world titles and claimed gold at London 2012.

Lastly, two medal events will take place in para lawn bowls which will take place at Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre.

The Northern Irish duo of Jason Smyth, the world's fastest Paralympic sprinter, and swimmer Bethany Firth will also compete in able bodied events, as will Australia's Melissa Tapper in table tennis.

Full previews of the para-athletics, para-swimming and powerlifiting competitions can be found on the left-hand side of this page.

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will take place between 23 July and 3 August.