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Teen speedster added to world champs squad

Newshub logoNewshub 15/04/2019 Richard Wain
Serge Aurier wearing a hat and smiling at the camera: Edward Osei-Nketia faces a trans-Tasman tug of war over his loyalties. He spoke with The Project. © Video: Newshub. Photo: AAP Edward Osei-Nketia faces a trans-Tasman tug of war over his loyalties. He spoke with The Project.

The heat is on sprint sensation Edward Osei-Nketia, with New Zealand provisionally selecting the 17-year-old for this year's world athletics championships.

Osei-Nketia has been offered one of nine conditional berths in the squad, but still has to shave a few fractions of a second more off his best time.

He also has to decide whether he wants to represent New Zealand or Australia.

Last month, Osei-Nketia won the 100m at the Australian championships, storming to victory in 10.22s over some highly-rated opponents, after clocking 10.19s in the semi-finals.

To qualify for the Doha world championships, he must crack the 10.10s mark.

Osei-Nketia's already the fourth-fastest Kiwi ever, behind Ghanaian-born father Gus Nketia (10.11s), Chris Donaldson (10.17s) and Joseph Millar (10.18s).

He was born in New Zealand, but grew up across the Tasman, so he is eligible to compete for Australia too. His family still live in Canberra, but he attends school in Wellington.

Athletics NZ has already selected Osei-Nketia for the Oceania championships in June, while Australia want to pick him for the world relay championships in May.

Last month, Osei-Nketia told Newshub he wanted to race for the country of his birth.

"I was born in New Zealand, my dad ran for New Zealand and it's fair to say I want to run for New Zealand," he said.

New Zealand has named nine other athletes who've already met the entry standard, including shot putters Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill, and pole vault star Eliza McCartney.

The nine New Zealand athletes who have met the IAAF entry standard for the 2019 Doha IAAF World Championships are:

Women:

Alana Barber (20km race walk)

Ruth Croft (marathon)

Portia Bing (400m hurdles)

Eliza McCartney (pole vault)

Maddison-Lee Wesche (shot put)

Men:

Jacko Gill (shot put)

Quentin Rew (20km walk, 50km race walk)

Jake Robertson (10,000m, marathon)

Tom Walsh (shot put)

The nine New Zealand athletes who have been provisionally selected are:

Women:

Camille Buscomb (5000m)

Zoe Hobbs (100m, 200m)

Olivia McTaggart (pole vault)

Angela Petty (800m)

Men:

Hamish Kerr (high jump)

Brad Mathas (800m)

Edward Osei-Nketia (100m)

Zane Robertson (10,000m)

Nick Willis (1500m).

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