In exactly 365 days the XXI Commonwealth Games will be open. The event will be hosted in the stunning venue of the Gold Coast, Australia with the beautiful Coral Sea lapping at the shoreline. But there is one sport, synonymous with Australia that is sadly missing - the Marathon swim. Despite being ideally located, not needing any venue build costs and with sure fire medals for the host country, there is no event.
Host cities of the Commonwealth Games can elect to choose from 20 different optional sports. Many recent Games have elected to host a triathlon (Glasgow, Melbourne, Manchester) although Delhi did not. So, why with did Australia not choose to host such a landmark event which would display some of the region's best assets to a global audience? Almost every other Games hosts marathon swims. The Olympics, World University Games, Special Olympics World Sumer Games and South East Asian Games all host open water swimming events.
The sad fact about Durban pulling out of the 2022 Commonwealth Games is that they had intended to host an open water swimming event. Whoever comes in to host the next Games, let's hope they choose one of the fastest growing and natural sports events within their schedule. Marathon Swims can really show off a different side to a city.