Pole vaulter Eliza McCartney - star of the Commonwealth Games and the whole world

When the bosses of Commonwealth Games and international athletics held a press conference to talk about the future of sport on Sunday, who did they pick - of all the athletes - to appear with them?

New Zealand's own Eliza McCartney.

It's a rite of passage for the Kiwi team to appear in front of NZ journalists before competition, but McCartney also found herself summoned in front of the world's media.

And what did she do? She took the chance to promote New Zealand.

"We come from a smaller side of the world, but especially New Zealand, I think we punch above our weight," she told the gathered masses.

Not even the British head of athletics, Australian head of Gold Coast 2018 and American head of the Commonwealth Games Federation can argue with what Kiwis already know about McCartney.

"She's young, she's engaging, she's talented and she comes from an athletics nation that really does have athletics at its heart," insists Lord Sebastian Coe, distance-running legend and now IAAF vice-president. 

"And I've sense in the last few years there's a real renaissance in young talent coming through." 

Offered Goldoc chairman Peter Beattie off-camera: "See, everybody loves you."

Another entranced by the young Kiwi was US-born CGF chairman David Grevemberg.

"I really found that Eliza's story, being inspired by the Games and now being here to compete at a Games, and what you said about accomplishing potentially a Commonwealth record - go for it."

McCartney, 21, has become such a star of athletics and it's hard to believe this is just her first Commonwealth Games.

"I haven't really been favourite or in the top few girls going into a competition before, so this is all still a learning experience," she says.

After winning bronze in the pole vault at the Rio Olympics, she has quickly earned the respect of her teammates as a mentor.

And while she's modified her run-up technique in the last few months, she says she is in peak condition to compete on Friday.