Paris Olympics: Athletics squad takes Australia’s team up to 460 members

Australia will be sending its largest ever team of track and field athletes to an overseas Olympics in Paris later this month with the 75-strong squad taking the overall delegation of competitors to a final 460.

The overall delegation is the second largest for a Games since Australia hosted in Sydney, 16 athletes fewer than represented the country and won 17 gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics three years ago.

“The athletics team is the largest of any sport and they will contribute greatly to the positive environment of the broader team,” Chef de Mission Anna Meares said in a statement.

“Today’s announcement finalises our Australian Olympic team at 460 athletes — I am so excited for Australians to see this team represent them with pride and determination in under three weeks’ time.”

World champion pole vaulter Nina Kennedy and two Tokyo bronze medallists, decathlete Ash Moloney and javelin thrower Kelsey-Lee Barber, headline the track and field squad to which 55 athletes were added on Monday.

“I have a very clear definition of what success means to me, and that is being able to walk away from the Olympic final knowing I’ve done everything I possibly could have,” said Kennedy.

“If that wins a gold medal, amazing, and if it doesn’t then I can walk away with no regrets.”

Barber will form part of three-strong entry for the women’s javelin with Mackenzie Little, who won bronze at last year’s world championships, and 41-year-old Kathryn Mitchell, who will be appearing at a fourth Games.

Australia will send men’s and women’s 4×100 metres relay squads to Paris for the first time since the 2000 Games on home soil in Sydney and compete in 39 of the 48 athletics events.

The women’s sprint relay team will feature Torrie Lewis, the teenager who beat Sha’carri Richardson and the rest of a strong field to win the 200m on her Diamond League debut in Xiamen.

“After having such an amazing year getting the official selection is just a relief,” the 19-year-old said. “I’ve always thought I could make an individual event, but actually getting the call is so exciting.”

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