Prince Charles, left and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, center, arrive with Aboriginal Elder Ted Williams during the opening ceremony for the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast, Australia, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

After a drenching, Commonwealth Games open on a bright note

Prince Charles attended the opening ceremony for the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast, Australia

Prince Charles delivered a message from Queen Elizabeth II to officially open the Commonwealth Games before fireworks exploded on cue.

The opening ceremony finished on a brighter note than the way it started Wednesday night, when a heavy rain shower drenched fans in the stadium.

The weather cleared quickly enough not to completely overshadow a ceremony choreographed to showcase the traditional culture of Australia’s indigenous people and the laid-back beach lifestyle of the Gold Coast.

Charles and his wife Camilla arrived in Queensland state hours before the games festivities officially began and entered the stadium shortly after the rain cleared.

Related: Canadians look to win 100-plus medals at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

___

MOTORCADE INCIDENT: Two Queensland policemen involved in a Commonwealth Games motorcade were injured after their motorcycles collided with each other on the Gold Coast.

Police say the crash occurred on the Gold Coast Highway just before the start of the Games’ opening ceremony at Carrara Stadium.

A 27-year-old officer was taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries while the other officer, 42, was transported to hospital as a precaution.

____

ROOKIE CAMBAGE: Liz Cambage begins her tuneup for the WNBA season with the Dallas Wings when she leads the Australian team in the Commonwealth Games basketball competition. The 2.03-meter (6-foot-8) centre is a two-time Olympian for Australia but is playing the Commonwealth Games for the first time. She’s one of the most experienced players on the team, but doesn’t think of herself as a veteran. “I’d still like to think of myself as one of the young ones,” she said. “I’m not a veteran yet. I’m still 26, I’m still a baby, I’m trying to hold on to that.”

Australia coach Sandy Brondello, who won three Olympic medals as a player with the Australian women’s team, the Opals, had some simple advice for Cambage: “Just go in there and be Liz Cambage. Play your game, be your dominant self and everything will go well.”

Australia opens against Mozambique on Friday in Townsville, north Queensland, about 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) north of the Gold Coast. All preliminary basketball matches are being played in northern Queensland state. The finals will be held on the Gold Coast.

___

ABORIGINAL PROTEST: A small group of indigenous protesters blocked a Gold Coast road, bringing a temporary halt to the Queen’s Baton Relay on its final day. The group of approximately 30 people lined up in nearby Southport, leaving the relay staff and baton runners stranded in a parking lot. After approximately an hour, organizers resumed the final leg of the relay. The baton is due at the stadium for the opening ceremony Wednesday night.

The protesters, calling themselves the “Stolenwealth Games,” are using the Gold Coast games to highlight their “anti-colonial activity and authority views.” Queensland police acknowledged the group’s right to protest, saying: “Should any activities occur during a protest which pose a risk to the safety or enjoyment of the Commonwealth Games, the (police) will respond accordingly.”

About 100 activists gathered near the stadium just before the opening ceremony to continue the protest.

___

OOPS: Games organizers have blundered by listing England as part of Africa in the official souvenir program.

The colorful Commonwealth Games 2018 edition lists the English capital as Banjul (instead of London), locates it in the Africa region and notes its population as slightly more than 2 million. That mirrors the details listed — correctly — for Gambia, only recently restored to the Commonwealth Games, directly underneath on Page 97. Gold Coast 2018 chief executive Mark Peters explained the blunder as an “overprint” as organizers rushed to accommodate Gambia’s re-inclusion into the Commonwealth just weeks ago. The African nation did not compete at the 2014 Glasgow Games after withdrawing from the Commonwealth in 2013. A change of prime minister in 2016 led to the readmission of Gambia last month, and the country has six athletes competing on the Gold Coast.

Related: Province will not fund Victoria’s Commonwealth Games bid

___

GOING FOR GOLD: The first gold medallist of the games will likely be the winner of the women’s triathlon on Thursday, and the overwhelming favourite is two-time world champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda. Duffy won six out of seven races in last year’s World Triathlon Series. England’s Alistair Brownlee, who has won gold in the past two Olympic triathlons, is entered in the men’s race. The individual men’s and women’s races and a mixed team event on Saturday will be over the sprint distance — a swim leg of 750 metres, a 20-kilometre cycle and a 5-kilometre run, half of the Olympic version. Brownlee is coming off hip surgery last August and one of his biggest threats for gold will come from his brother Jonathan, who won silver behind Alistair at Glasgow in 2014, and bronze medallist Richard Murray of South Africa. Gold medals on day one of competition will also be presented in artistic gymnastics, track cycling, swimming and weightlifting.

___

EASY BRONZE: Australian boxer Taylah Robertson ensured the first medal of the Commonwealth Games without setting foot in the ring. The 19-year-old Robertson was the beneficiary of a lucky draw in the women’s 51-kilogram division and is guaranteed at least a bronze medal. Only seven boxers entered the competition, so three bouts will be contested as quarterfinals, with Robertson receiving a direct passage to the last four. Both losers of the semifinals win bronze medals. The boxing program starts Thursday.

___

OFFICIAL INVESTIGATED: Queensland state police are investigating an alleged assault involving an official and an athlete of the Mauritius team. Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the allegation involved “an assault of an aggravated matter.” Gollschewski said police had been aware of an allegation before a complaint was made overnight. He declined to give further details. Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg said if the allegation is proved, it “compromises the integrity of everything we uphold in terms of a harm-free environment.”

___

NEW SKIPPER: Jesse Parahi is new captain of the Australian rugby sevens team, and there have been a few before him this year. Long-time skipper Ed Jenkins retired at the start of the season, and his replacement, Lewis Holland, was injured in the team’s last World Series tournament before the games. The man who replaced Holland, James Stannard, sustained a fractured skull in a one-punch attack last week and will miss the Commonwealth Games.

___

Dennis Passa, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

An Australian woman with a child pose for the photographs in front of the Commonwealth Games count down clock at the Surfer’s paradise beach in Gold Coast, Australia, Tuesday, April 3, 2018. Sun. Surf. Security. The first two have come relatively easy for organizers of the Commonwealth Games which begin Wednesday on the glitzy Gold Coast tourist strip. The third involves 3,500 police and 2,000 members of the Australian Defense Force. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Lights illuminates rain at Carrara Stadium just before for the opening ceremony for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Just Posted

‘Thriller’ charity event runs Oct. 27th at the Sheraton

Proceeds to support Friends of the Red Deer Regional Hospital and Pound it Hip Hop

Red Deer Rebels take the game against Kootenay Ice 4-3 in overtime

Defenseman Alexander Alexeyev scores winning goal 75 seconds into overtime

It’s been a strong start for Red Deer’s newest hockey team

Red Deer Senior AA Rustlers coming off back-to-back wins

Innisfail RCMP investigate serious collision west of Innisfail

One of the passengers was taken by STARS air ambulance to the hospital

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

One year to election: Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate, premiers

Analysts say that the Liberals have reason to be ‘fairly confident’

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

Most Read