The Australian Athletics Championships return to Brisbane in March for the first time since 2009.

Build-up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast will get off to an early start, with Athletics Australia (AA) announcing next year’s national championships will take place in Queensland.

The annual Australian Athletics Championships has moved from Melbourne for its 93rd edition and will take place from March 26-29 next year in Brisbane.

It will provide Olympic 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson a chance to race in front of home state fans and allow athletes to get used to competing on the big stage in southern Queensland ahead of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

It’s the first time Queensland has hosted the national titles since 2009.

“The Australian Athletics Championships is the pinnacle event of our domestic season, where the country’s best athletes are pitted against each other to determine our nation’s champions and we are very proud to be bringing this event back to Brisbane,” said AA chief executive Dallas O’Brien.

“With the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games on the horizon, it is fantastic to know that the Queensland Government is supportive of important national sporting events in their state.”

The event is expected to attract more than 800 of Australia’s best athletes.

AA also confirmed the dates for the 2014-15 nine-meet Australian Athletics Tour, which next year will incorporate Canberra.