LATE CALL-UP: Teenager Riley Day has been added to the national team for the London world championships.
LATE CALL-UP: Teenager Riley Day has been added to the national team for the London world championships. TRACEY NEARMY

Riley ticking off life goals, one Day at a time

SCHOOLGIRL sprint star Riley Day has raced against Usain Bolt, now she can cross the world championships off her bucket list.

The meteoric rise of the 17-year-old from Queensland continues after she earned a late call-up to Australia's team for next month's world titles in London.

Day, who won gold at the recent Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas, will join Olympic semi-finalist Ella Nelson in the 200m.

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

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

"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."

Day rose to prominence at the inaugural Nitro Athletics series in Melbourne in February where she famously ran against Bolt in the mixed 4x100m relay.

She 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.

Day's best friend, 17-year-old 400m runner Ella Connolly, has been named in the 4x400m relay team.

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

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).

Anang, who won her first long jump national title with a personal best 6.68m earlier this year, also has a Bolt connection given she represented his All-Stars team at Nitro.

"This tops off a big year. Competing with Bolt comes pretty close to my number one highlight, but I'm so happy to be heading to the world championships at just 22," she said.

"At Nitro, I kind of thought that I didn't think I would see him again but now I find myself at world championships competing together with him and Jamaica. Perhaps we can catch-up for coffee."

The London team is the biggest Australia has sent to the biennial world titles, surpassing the 54 in Seville in 1999.

News Corp Australia

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