Huge Australian team for world athletics

Australian teenager Riley Day is heading to the world championships. (AAP)

Australia will be represented by a record 62-strong team at the world athletics championships in London.

Schoolgirl sprint star Riley Day is set to do the near-unprecedented double of squaring off against Usain Bolt and the world's best female sprinters in the same year.

The 17-year-old Day soared to prominence at the inaugural Nitro Athletics series in Melbourne in February where she famously ran against Bolt in the mixed 4x100m relay.

Now she can look forward to taking on the likes of flying Americans Tori Bowie and Deajah Stevens in the 200m at the upcoming world athletics championships in London.

Day was one of 14 Australians added to what is now a record 62-strong squad for the August 4-13 world titles as part of the IAAF's roll-down process which aims to guarantee full fields in every event.

Experienced discus thrower Benn Harradine, hurdler Michelle Jenneke and steeplechaser Victoria Mitchell have also received late call-ups.

Day joins her best friend, 17-year-old 400m runner Ella Connolly, as the youngest members of the Australian squad in London.

Day set her 200m PB of 23.26 seconds in Sydney in March and won gold in 23.42 at the recent Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.

"It's so exciting, but I'm so nervous," said Day.

"It hasn't sunk in. I'm going to the world championships.

"To have Ella there will be great, we get to experience it all together.

"I'm 17, there are no expectations. The chance to run against the fastest women in the world is incredible.

"All I've ever done is watch them on Diamond League and now I'm going to be in the lane next to them.

"If anything, my goal is to run a Commonwealth Games qualifier. I just want to run as fast as I can and hope to soak up as much of what's on offer as possible."

The other women's additions to the Australian squad are Lora Storey and Brittany McGowan (both 800m), Heidi See (5000m), Nicola McDermott (high jump), Naa Anang (long jump), Liz Parnov (pole vault) and Taryn Gollshewsky (discus).

Also added in the men's events are Jordan Williamsz (1500m), Stewart McSweyn (3000m steeplechase) and Mitchell Cooper (discus).

Williamsz will join his Melbourne Track Club teammates Ryan Gregson and Luke Mathews in the 1500m.

The biggest team Australia had previously sent to the biennial world titles was 54 in Seville in 1999.

Source AAP

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch