Two Commonwealth Games events on radar for Charlestown athlete Erin Cleaver

Charlestown 17-year-old Erin Cleaver will have not one, but two chances to claim Commonwealth Games medals on home soil next year.

Both of the athlete’s pet events will feature in the largest integrated para-program since its inception at the multi-sport festival in 2002.

GOAL: Charlestown 17-year-old athlete Erin Cleaver after finishing HSC trials at Hunter Sports High School this week. She has two Commonwealth Games events on her radar following World Championship silver. Picture: Josh Callinan

GOAL: Charlestown 17-year-old athlete Erin Cleaver after finishing HSC trials at Hunter Sports High School this week. She has two Commonwealth Games events on her radar following World Championship silver. Picture: Josh Callinan

Up to 300 para-athletes will compete in 38 medal events across seven sports on the Gold Coast in April with Cleaver expected to be part of the Hunter contingent alongside wheelchair marathoners Kurt Fearnley and Christie Dawes as well as swimmer Maddi Elliott. 

“Being a T38 female athlete I’ve got both the long jump and 100 metres,” Cleaver said. “I’m lucky enough to have two events because most people don’t even have one. So that’s my main priority now.”

The Rio Paralympian clocked up a qualifier last month when she claimed silver at the World Championships in London with a jump of 4.61m, which was fractionally behind her personal best and Australian record posted at nationals earlier this year.

Cleaver, coached by Shaun Fletcher at Glendale, was unsure if she would reach the 13.50 second sprint qualifying time. The Hunter Sports High School student this week wrapped up HSC trials on the first of her two-year pathways program. 

Elsewhere and Eleebana discus thrower Benn Harradine has posed the question “when is Australian putting in a bid for world championships in athletics?” on Twitter this week.

It comes after the 34-year-old missed the World Championships final in London on the weekend, finishing 21st with a best throw of 60m. 

Harradine, now based in Sweden with a previous best of 68.2m, went to his third Olympics in Rio last year and has yet to confirm whether or not he’ll strive for a second Commonwealth title in 2018.

He won gold in Delhi seven years ago, narrowly missed the podium with fourth at Glasgow most recently and finished eighth on debut in Melbourne in 2006.