Above: Nick Willis wining bronze at the Rio Olympic Games. Photo by Ian Walton / Getty Images Sport.
Nick Willis was one of four medallists at the Rio Olympics last year, in the blue riband 1500m for men.
The owner of two Olympic medals, 1500m silver at 2008 Beijing Olympics and bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has never medalled an IAAF World Championships and would dearly love to get amongst the medals in London .
However, the 34 year old from Lower Hutt (now domiciled in Michigan) has had a somewhat interrupted preparation to the championships with injury affecting his training.
Shin splints in the early part of the season meant that he left it until the last possible race to qualify, running 3:34.74 at the Monaco Diamond League meeting in late July.
As is often the case at major championships, the challenge will be to make it to the final, negotiating the heats and semi-finals which can feature inconsistent pace and fast finishes. If Willis can get to the final there is every chance that he could improve on his best performance, a sixth in Beijing.
Zane Robertson has also had an interrupted preparation for his 10,000m race, but the last month has been very satisfying and he has indicated that he is in a better position than at the same time last year when he went on to place a highly creditable 12th, setting a New Zealand record of 27:33.67, slicing eight seconds off Dick Quax’s previous record.
The 27 year old, currently based in Kenya has ambitions to improve his placing from Rio and set another national record before a debut marathon later this year.
Quentin Rew has had some top placings in the 50km race walk at major events recently, claiming 12th place in at last year’s Rio Olympic Games with 3:49:32 and tenth at the 2015 Beijing World Championships in 3:48:48.
The 33 year old physiotherapist who trains and works in Melbourne is aiming for improvement in London, where he finished 27th in his Olympic debut in 2012. He would also relish the capture of the New Zealand 50km race walk title, currently held by Craig Barrett at 3:48:12
Joseph Millar will be racing the 100m and his more favoured 200m at the London championships.
Millar had an outstanding New Zealand summer including setting a New Zealand national record of 20.37 for 200m and a resident record of 10.18 for 100m at the national championships in Hamilton, then taking out the sprint double at the Australian championships.
The 24 year old Tauranga athlete who has won the NZ 100m / 200m sprint double four times has fulfilled a long time goal of making a major championship event.
If he can replicate his form that he showed in New Zealand and Australia earlier this year he has a reasonable chance of making it to the semifinals the 200m.
Millar will be in action on the first day of the championships in the 100m heats on Saturday morning (NZ time).