BALLARAT javelin thrower Kathryn Mitchell will compete at her third Olympics after being named in the final 63-member squad who will travel to Tokyo later this month.
Mitchell has been a dominant force at track-and-field competitions throughout the Australian season, but had still fallen 50cm short of an automatic qualifying position of 64 metres, with a season best throw of 63.5 metres.
But her world ranking and the fact she had thrown the 12th longest of anyone in the world this year, meant she had done enough to earn selection for the Olympics.
The javelin competition allows for the top 32 athletes in the world provided no more than three competitors are from any one country. Despite not being able to travel to international events this season, Mitchell was ranked well inside the cut off.
Mitchell is the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion and will be part of a strong Australian contingent in the event which includes world champion Kelsey-Lee Barber as well as Mackenzie Little who have all ben picked in the squad.
The Australia team which was named on Saturday is the third largest athletics squad this country has ever seen at an Olympic Games.
Only the two home Olympics of Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000 have seen more athletes take to the track.
The selection is a perfect birthday present for Mitchell who celebrates her 39th birthday this week.
Mitchell has previously competed in the 2012 London games where she finished ninth and in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 where she was sixth.
She has battled a tumultuous 18 months due to the worldwide pandemic and incredibly has managed to earn selection despite not having seen her coach and partner Uwe Hohn - who is the coach of the Indian team - for more than 18 months due to travel restrictions in and out of that country and into Australia.
The team also features medal hope, and former Ballarat student Stewart McSweyn, who has confirmed his focus on the 1500-metres by dropping the 5000m and 10,000m despite earning selection in both longer distance events.
Mitchell was one of 36 athletes given an exemption into the team, while a further 27 had already gained automatic selection, including McSweyn.
Athletics Australia chief executive officer Peter Bromley said he was excited by what the team could achieve in Tokyo.
"With just weeks to go until the Tokyo Games finally begin, it's incredibly exciting to see 36 more athletes announced to the Australian Olympic Athletics Team," Bromley said.
"What's more exciting is the real mix of experience we have in this fourth wave selected.
"We have 14 Olympians joining the team once again, including Jeff Riseley who will add Olympics number four to his list of achievements, and 22 debutants, all of who have made a lasting impression on the Australian athletics community, including our youngest athlete on the team, 18-year-old Ellie Beer.
"This highlights to me that the future of athletics in our country is strong and bright.