An Australian squad that is ranked highly in the under 18 global rankings is set to compete for medals at the Commonwealth Youth Games in The Bahamas.
Teenage sprinter Riley Day and one-lap specialist Ella Connolly, also from Queensland, headline the 23-strong squad set for action at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau when competition begins on Thursday.
“Being lucky enough to compete in the Bahamas as part of a big Australian team is valuable for international experience and it would be so good if I could run well enough over the months ahead to qualify for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast,” Day told news.com.au recently.
“If I don’t I’ll definitely go and watch because a home crowd on the Gold Coast will be so good.”
Day, who was also the flagbearer for the Australian team at the opening ceremony yesterday, will run the 100m and 200m in Nassau after setting personal bests over both distances while claiming each of the national under 18 championships in April.
At those championships she broke 23.50 for the first time, hitting the line in 23.26, which ranks her fourth in the world for 2017 in her age group and second in the Commonwealth.
In the 100m, Day has a personal best of 11.59 also set in Sydney, putting her twelfth in the world and not far behind Jamaica’s Kevona Davis who has clocked 11.42 as the fastest in the Commonwealth.
Her teammate Connolly is the only under 18 girl to have dipped under 53 seconds this year, setting her personal best of 52.96 to win the age’s national title in April.
She has only been defeated once this year in a one-lap race and is ranked third in the world over 400m in her age group.
Also competing in the 400m is New South Wales runner Bendere Oboya, who owns a personal best of 53.02, which placed her second at the under 18 national championships.
The open state 400m champion is ranked fifth in the world for her age group and third in the Commonwealth.
A number of the boys are also highly ranked within the Commonwealth, including sprinter Jake Doran from Queensland who is seventh on the list over 100m in 2017.
He is ranked equal tenth in the world with a personal best of 10.47 that was set in the heats of the under 18 national championships, in which he did not participate in the final.
High jumper Sean Szalek from Western Australia cleared 2.04 to win the national under 18 title before placing sixth in the open competition in Sydney.
A personal best of 2.13m set in Perth to win his state championships has him ranked equal sixth in the world this year for his age group and second on the Commonwealth list.
Discus thrower Alexander Kolesnikoff enters the Games ranked seventh in the Commonwealth for discus with a personal best of 56.67m using the 1.5kg disc at under 18 level.
The New South Welshman is 25th on the world list for his age group this season.
A total of 1010 athletes under the age of 18, from 64 Commonwealth countries will compete throughout the whole Games competition.
Across six days from 96 Gold Medals will be contested in nine sports - Athletics, Aquatics (Swimming), Beach Soccer, Boxing, Cycling (Road), Judo, Rugby Sevens, Tennis and Beach Volleyball.
To follow the Games, head to Bahamas 2017 or follow Commonwealth Games Australia on Facebook,