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Gold Rush

  • Gold RushPhoto from Pixabay.com

A Games To Remember

It was a Gold Rush on the Gold Coast for the South West region at the Commonwealth Games.

Casterton’s Kathryn Mitchell set the tone early with a gold medal in the women’s javelin, where she also set a new world record with her first attempt.

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Then Casterton’s Tessa Lavey continued to put the town on the map as she helped the Australian Opals claim gold in the women’s basketball.

Portland’s Shannon Malseed played a key role in the women’s road cycling event to see the team take out the gold.

GOLD RUSH Casterton's Kathryn Mitchell (top left), Casterton's Tessa Lavey (top right), Portland's Shannon Malseed (bottom left) and Hamilton's Melissa Tapper (bottom right). Photo: Commonwealth Games Australia.

And arguably the biggest moment of the games for the South West locals belongs to Hamilton’s Melissa Tapper.

She created history by winning Australia’s first ever gold medal in Table Tennis.

After the 28-year-old's incredible performance her brother Ashley said it was a special moment for the entire Tapper family.

"Proudest big brother in the world is an understatement," he said.

"Times that by a million and we might be getting close.

"It was probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had... even a better feeling than any of the achievements I've ever had to be honest."

TEAM TAPPER: Ashley Tapper stands proudly with sister Melissa at the Athlete's Village on the Gold Coast.

The gold medal performance saw Tapper create further history in Australian sport after she became the first Australian athlete to compete at both the Olympics and Paralympics back in 2016 at Rio.

When asked where winning Australia's first ever gold in Table Tennis would stack up, Melissa's brother said it would be right at that top.

"She has achieved so much and her achievements are out of this world," Ashley added.

"I can’t really speak to much for her, but I know it means the absolute world to her, as I know how hard she works to be at the level she is at and the hours she puts in are crazy and on top of working as well.

"She is the most humble girl I have even met and I think everyone would say the same

"So yeah, she is over the moon and very relieved about it all.

"And is also over the moon about getting to have this experience with one of her besties, Michelle, who qualified this year too which saw them competed together in the doubles."

Other South West athletes to win gold medals at the games were Colac's Ken Hansen in the lawn bowls and Warrnambool's Nathan Sobey in the men's basketball.