Defending women's javelin champion Kathryn Mitchell is due to appear at a fifth Commonwealth Games in Birmingham ©Getty Images

Gold Coast 2018 champions Kathryn Mitchell and Brandon Starc are among 53 names added to the Australian athletics team for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, bringing the total to 85, including 16 Para athletes.

Mitchell, who took javelin gold four years ago, and long-distance runner Eloise Wellings, both 39, are due to become the first Australian track and field athletes to compete at five Commonwealth Games.

Since winning the Commonwealth high jump title, Starc has appeared at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where he finished fifth with 2.35 metres.

There are a number of other Commonwealth Games medallists including long jumpers Henry Frayne and Brooke Buschkuehl (née Stratton), hammer thrower Alexandra Hulley and marathon runner Jessica Stenson (née Trengove).

The team also includes 100 metres runner Rohan Browning, whose heats time of 10.01sec at Tokyo 2020 was the fastest run by an Australian at the Olympics.

For two-time Olympian Wellings this will be her first appearance in an Australian team since the birth of her second child in 2019 and her first as a marathoner after moving up from middle-distance track events.

"It’s an honour any time I get to put on the Australian kit, but to make five Commonwealth Games teams is very special," Wellings said.

Eloise Wellings is moving up to the marathon distance ©Getty Images
Eloise Wellings is moving up to the marathon distance ©Getty Images

"I have vivid memories of my first Games in Melbourne as I was screaming down the home straight in front of 90,000 people.

"I have beautiful memories like this from each of my Games appearances.

"To be selected for Birmingham is especially exciting after missing the Tokyo Olympics last year.

"As a female athlete, you’re never really sure if you’re going to be back at your best after having a baby. 

"It’s been a long hard road and I’m stoked to be selected."

Mitchell commented: "I never imaged I would go to that many.

"As reigning champion, I’m honoured to be selected as part of a quality team in the javelin.

"Commonwealth Games is an honourable event.

"Australia has such a strong history which I believe creates a unique team vibe."

Starc added before his third Commonwealth Games appearance: "I am 100 per cent there to defend my title and having my wife, Laura, and son, Oli, cheering on the sidelines will make this competition all the more memorable."

Two more Para athletes have been selected among the additional 53 team members - wheelchair racer Sam Carter and sprinter Indiana Cooper.

Cooper, 16, will become the youngest member of the Australian athletics squad, racing alongside previously announced athletes Rhiannon Clarke and Ella Pardy in the T38 100m event.

The selection marks a tremendous rise for a young sprinter who was inspired to take up the sport while watching Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games champion Isis Holt compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

Cooper becomes one of five Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipients on the Australian team bound for Birmingham.

"Today’s selections 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's Chef de Mission Petria Thomas said.

Athletics Australia chief executive Peter Bromley added: "This team is an incredibly strong one, and we look forward to seeing how they fare against the best in the Commonwealth after topping the medal tally at home on the Gold Coast four years ago."