Kelsey-Lee Barber will return to the Olympics after being officially selected for Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

The Australian Olympic Committee has added five track and field athletes to its team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, including reigning javelin world champion Kelsey-Lee Barber.

Barber, who competed at the Rio 2016 Olympics where she failed to qualify from the opening round, will be joined by an athlete who did have a successful Games four years ago – race walker Dane Bird-Smith who won bronze over 20 kilometres by just five seconds.

He would also go on to win the Commonwealth Games title at his home event at Gold Coast 2018.

However, Barber could be the best chance of an Olympic medal in athletics for Australia, having captured her first world title in Doha in 2019 – jumping from fifth to first on the final throw.

Three Olympic debutants, distance runners Jessica Hull and Stewart McSweyn, and race walker Jemima Montag, have also been selected.

"It's been my motivation since Rio to get back to an Olympic stadium – it's something now I can set-up the plan and start working towards it," said Barber.

"After winning the World Championships last year and having that feeling of celebrating all the hard work you do day in and day out – it's going to mean so much to me to be in Tokyo next year."

All three debutants are national champions with Montag also winning gold in the 20km walk at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Hull has been chosen for the 5,000 metres, moving up from the 1,500m which she competed in at the 2019 World Championships, narrowly missing the final.

Just last week she broke the Australian record for her new distance at the Monaco Diamond League, finishing fourth in a time of 14min 43.80sec.

"It gives me goosebumps to think about Tokyo," said Hull.

"While we have to wait another year, it will increase the build-up and heighten the emotion, we're going to be so happy when we get out there.

"It's a childhood dream and now I know I'll be there in Tokyo."

McSweyn will contest both the 5,000m and 10,000m – having broke the Australian record in the latter at the end of 2019.

He put in a strong showing in the final of the 5,000m at the World Championships, where he finished 12th.

National and world champions who have achieved a Tokyo 2020 qualifying result are all eligible for auto-nomination for the Australian team.

"Congratulations to these athletes on earning their spot on the team for the Tokyo Games," said Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman.

"On being told of their selection all five athletes have been positive that they can focus fully on the challenge ahead, to allow them to be at their best for the Games."

It brings the Australian Olympic team total up to 78, with it expected to around 480 by the time of Tokyo 2020.

The Games were postponed to next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.