Ed Jackson / AAP News
The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games sprinter captured Australian hearts at the Tokyo Olympics but now wants more in Birmingham.
As a teenage rookie just competing at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games was enough for Riley Day, but four years later the Australian sprinter’s goals have shifted significantly.
Day will head to her second Games in Birmingham this July with medals her only ambition, following her personal-best display in the 200m semi-finals at last year’s Olympics in Tokyo.
In a highly competitive field, the 21-year-old ran 22.56 in a performance that garnered her national attention and also qualified her for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“I remember walking out and hearing the crowd and just going out there and giving it everything I’ve got,” Day said of her 2018 memories as the Birmingham Queen’s Baton Relay travelled through south-east Queensland on Thursday.
“My mindset has changed towards these Commonwealth Games.
“On the Gold Coast I was just going there and I was just soaking up the experience but now I’m going there to medal.
“That’s the difference between my debut and now. I guess it’ll be the exact same atmosphere but they won’t be going for me this time, they’ll be going for the Brits.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
Riley Day joined weightlifter Ebony Gorincu and discus thrower Matt Denny on the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay journey in Brisbane. (CGA Archive)
Day’s 2018 experience included a disappointing disqualification in the 4x100m relay.
With Australia’s female sprinting ranks in great shape with 12 women going under 11.50 seconds in the 100m since the start of 2021, Day is confident those memories of 2018 can be erased in Birmingham.
“We’ve definitely increased our depth in women’s sprinting and it’s absolutely awesome to see,” she said.
“I know that we can definitely medal in Birmingham if we all get it perfect and potentially break the Australian record because it’s definitely in our sights.”