Five Yorkshire athletes to watch at the Commonwealth Games

With the Commonwealth Games set to begin in Birmingham on Thursday, we look at five Yorkshire athletes to follow over the coming days.

Jack Laugher

Diver, Harrogate

A winner of three gold medals at the last Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and the man who will carry the flag for Team England at tonight’s opening ceremony.
Comes into the Games in good form having won a bronze and a silver at the recent world championships. Can win another three golds in the 1m and 3m individuals and the 3m synchro. 

Hannah Cockroft has got every gold medal going, but has never raced in a Commonwealth Games before. (Picture: Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Abi Smith

Cyclist, Ripon

Look out for the multi-talented 20-year-old cyclist from Ripon, pictured right.
She only converted full-time to cycling four years ago because she was falling behind in triathlon, but is one to watch in the women’s road race on Sunday, August 7. 

Hannah Cockroft

Jack Laugher of England poses with his three Gold medals from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games - can he repeat the feat in Birmingham? (Picture: Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images for npower)

Wheelchair sprinter, Halifax

Amazingly, this is her first Commonwealth Games with para-athletics included in the programme at long last.
Cockroft, 29, will be red-hot favourite for gold in the T34 100m on Tuesday, August 2, as she looks to complete the set of global titles.

James Willstrop

Squash, Pontefract

One to watch: Ripon cyclist Abi Smith (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

At 38, squash’s former world No 1, below, is headed to a fifth Commonwealth Games and does so as defending champion in the men’s singles. That gold medal on the Gold Coast came after two runner-up finishes to Nick Matthew in the preceding Games.

Harris Akbar

Boxer, Bradford

The newly-crowned European champion from Bradford is one of the favourites to win gold in the 71kg lightweight category.
That status, though, means he enters a tournament as a favourite, which is unfamiliar territory for the Sheffield-based fighter.

James Willstrop will compete in his fifth Commonwealth Games.
Harris Akbar: Bradford boxer is seeking a second gold medal of the summer. (Picture: Steve Ellis)