Northern Ireland athletes going for gold on day two of Commonwealth Games

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Athletics - World Athletics Championships - Doha 2019 - Men's Marathon - Doha, Qatar - October 6, 2019  Ireland's Stephen Scullion in action REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Athletics - World Athletics Championships - Doha 2019 - Men's Marathon - Doha, Qatar - October 6, 2019 Ireland's Stephen Scullion in action REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

By James Toney in Birmingham

There are 23 golds up for grabs on the second day of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with plenty of chances for athletes from Team Northern Ireland.

Athletics, Marathon, 7am

Belfast's Stephen Scullion and Kevin Seaward will lead the NI charge in the marathon, following the withdrawal of Olympian Paul Pollock.

Scullion didn't finish the Olympic marathon in Tokyo last year and has been preparing for the Games with altitude training in Switzerland.

“This is by far the most consistent and well planned build up I've had to a major race," he said.

"I’ve been at altitude longer than I’ve ever been at altitude and I'm very optimistic."

Pollock's absence is a blow, especially coming four years after he failed to make the start-line on the Gold Coast after a late and untimely injury.

Elsewhere, Ballygowan's Mark Millar is in the men's wheelchair competition.

Lawn Bowls, Men's Triples, 8.30am

Northern Ireland's bowlers didn't make the podium four years ago in the Gold Coast; indeed, their last Commonwealth medal was a men's triples silver in 2014 in Glasgow.

They've high hopes for that event again in Birmingham with Adam McKeown, Gary Kelly, and Ian McClure their team. They beat Norfolk Islands, the 2018 bronze medallists, in their opening game on Thursday and then drew with Wales. On Saturday they take on Fiji.

Swimming, Men's 100m Freestyle, 10.40am

Olympian Jack McMillan will make his first appearance at the Games in the blue-riband freestyle race.

He was part of the team that finished 14th in the 4x200m freestyle at last year's Tokyo Olympics, setting a 1:46.88 national record in the process.

Boxing, Men's Featherweight, 6.45pm

Tyrone featherweight Jude Gallagher is in the action against Swaziland's Zweli Dlamini at the National Exhibition Centre.

The Two Castles club fighter won last year's Ulster Elite title and, should he win, will advance to fight England's Niall Farrell, who received a first-round bye.

Gallagher prepared for the Games during the pandemic by working at his family butchers – and burst onto the scene last year as an 18-year-old.

Wheelchair basketball, Men's Preliminaries, 8.20pm

Nathan McCabe, James MacSorley, Con Nagle, and Matt Rolston will have a tough task against gold medal favourites Canada as they start their campaign in the men's wheelchair 3x3 basketball.

The sport is making its debut at the Games, and it won't get any easier for the quartet, who face fellow medal fancy Australia 24 hours later.

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