Jemima Montag is one of four defending Commonwealth Games champions named in Australia's athletics team for Birmingham 2022 ©Getty Images

Australia has named all three of its Olympics medallists from Tokyo 2020 among the first selections in its athletics team for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

High jump silver medallist Nicola McDermott has been picked alongside javelin thrower Kelsey-Lee Barber and Ash Moloney, who both won bronze in the re-arranged Olympics in the Japanese capital last year.

The first 32 selections also feature 11 Commonwealth Games medallists, including defending champions Kurtis Marschall in the pole vault and Jemima Montag in the 10 kilometres walk.

They are joined by Paralympians Madison de Rozario, winner of the T54 1500 metres and marathon, and Evan O'Hanlon, gold medallist in the T38 at Gold Coast 2018.

McDermott won a bronze medal at Gold Coast 2018, while Barber earned a bronze at Glasgow 2014 and silver four years ago.

Australia finished top of the athletics medal table at Gold Coast 2018 with a total of 36 medals, including 13 gold, ahead of Jamaica and England.

Also included among the 14 Para-athletes and 18 able-bodied competitors who will make up the fully integrated athletics team is Glasgow 2014 high jump gold medallist Eleanor Patterson, returning to the Games after missing the Gold Coast four years ago.

She is joined by Tokyo stars Peter Bol, fourth in the 800m at Tokyo 2020, and discus thrower Matt Denny, who also finished fourth in the Olympics, two years after winning a Commonwealth Games silver medal in the hammer at Gold Coast 2018.

Montag, sixth at Tokyo 2020 in the 20km walk, is looking forward to defending her title in England.

“My gold medal in front of a home crowd was a fork in the road moment,” she said.

“After having struggled with confidence and wondering whether I had what it takes, I hit that tape and knew I belonged amongst the best in the world.

“My mindset is totally different heading into Birmingham. I remember just feeling lucky to be on the team in 2018 and hoping to smile for the cameras during the race.

“This time around I know I can win and I'm ready to put on a classy performance."

After winning the Paralympic T53 800m and T54 marathon at Tokyo 2020, de Rozario will be entering Birmingham 2022, which is due to take place between July 28 and August 8, on the crest of a wave.

“There’s something special about the Commonwealth Games,” she said.

“After winning gold there in 2018, it holds a special place in my heart in terms of my career, particularly in the marathon.

“One element I love about the Commonwealth Games is the combined team, and the way Australia embraces both sides of our team.

“We saw the follow-on effect from 2018 in Tokyo and it really helped set a stage for the Paralympics. 

“While I won’t have a full field to compete against, the Commonwealth Games is still really special in that way.

“The calibre of athletes announced today is unreal.

“The results from our athletics teams in Tokyo were outstanding and I’m excited to see a lot of our athletes, especially our medallists, compete at the Commonwealth Games level.

“We’ve got a whole lot of our Para-athletes who haven’t raced at the Commonwealth Games before, like Jake Lappin and Sarah Clifton Bligh.

“It’s her first team, and it’s been great to see her develop and get to this level.”

Also featuring in the team will be 45-year-old Sinead Diver, who at Tokyo 2020 became the oldest athletics competitor to represent Australia at the Olympics, taking part in the marathon where she finished 10th.

The Irish-born runner only took up running at the age of 33 after the birth of her son, having moved to Melbourne in 2002 when she was 25.

Sinead Driver will be looking to win a Commonwealth Games medal in the marathon at the age of 45 ©Getty Images
Sinead Driver will be looking to win a Commonwealth Games medal in the marathon at the age of 45 ©Getty Images

“This will be my first time at the Commonwealth Games,” Diver said.

“I was disappointed to miss out in 2018 but absolutely loved watching all of my Aussie teammates competing.

"It was such an amazing Games and I’m so excited to be part of the action this time.

“I would like to think I’ll be more competitive at the Commonwealth Games than in Tokyo.

"In Tokyo I wasn’t ever in medal contention, whereas in Birmingham I will be aiming for this.

“It’ll be so special to have [husband] Colin and the boys at the Commonwealth Games this year.

"Unfortunately, they couldn’t come to Tokyo as international travellers weren’t allowed at the Games, so this will, in part, make up for that disappointment.

“I’ll also have some of my family flying over from Ireland.

“The great thing about having it in the UK is that it’s really close.

“Anyone who can’t make it over [to England], I’ll be able to catch up with post Games.”

Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipient Sarah Clifton-Bligh will make her debut in the green and gold alongside fellow Para-athletes Julie Charlton and Anthony Jordan.

Clifton-Bligh began racing after being lent the famous “blue” chair which has been shared among wheelchair racing icons and Commonwealth gold medallists Kurt Fearnley and Angie Ballard, who too has been named on the team once more, her fourth Commonwealth Games.

Having finished high school just last year, Clifton-Bligh has reached one of her goals for the year with selection to the Birmingham 2022 team in the T34 100m.

Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipient Sarah Clifton-Bligh will compete for Australia in the T34 100m at Birmingham 2022 ©Athletics Australia
Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipient Sarah Clifton-Bligh will compete for Australia in the T34 100m at Birmingham 2022 ©Athletics Australia

“This is an exciting group who are ready to be bold, brave and brilliant at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham,” Australian Chef de Mission Petria Thomas said.

“Today’s selections of the first athletics team members are a wonderful mixture of defending gold medal champions, experienced campaigners, and the next generation who are ready to establish themselves on the world stage.

“Australia has enjoyed a tremendous legacy in athletics at the Commonwealth Games, and I know the team members selected today are ready to add their names to that storied history.

“I can’t wait to watch them create their own chapters in Birmingham.”

Commonwealth Games Australia and Athletics Australia are set to announce the final selections of the Australian athletics team for Birmingham 2022 in late June, following the end of the qualification period.