English-born middle-distance runner Nikki Hamblin has been granted New Zealand citizenship in a coup for Athletics New Zealand (ANZ).

The promising 21-year-old will undergo a citizenship ceremony in London and then await final approval from the sport's governing body (IAAF) before she is officially cleared to compete at next month's world championships in Berlin.

It represents the end of a lengthy battle for Cambridge-based Hamblin, who had all but given up on racing the 1500m in a black singlet at the championships starting on August 15.

Work permits have been all that has kept her in New Zealand since arriving from Weymouth, Dorset, three years ago.

She has lived with boyfriend Cameron Holt, who last night alerted ANZ chief executive Scott Newman that the Department of Internal Affairs had given Hamblin the go-ahead.

Newman sent paperwork to the IAAF yesterday and was confident she would be cleared.

"Everything should be in line now," he said. "My read of the rules is that we've met all the criteria. But the rules do take some interpretation. We may get tripped up somewhere but I'm pretty confident we'll get her to Berlin."

Hamblin lowered her best over 1500m to 4min 08.52sec at a meet in the Netherlands two weeks ago.

That was under the B-standard qualifying time for Berlin and came within 2.29sec of Toni Hodgkinson's national record.

Newman believed her best medal chance would come at next year's Commonwealth Games in India.

"To her credit, she's performed extraordinarily well with no real expectation that she'd actually get to the world champs," he said.

"It will be nice to have her on board. She's certainly very promising and I'd say she's definitely one to watch at next year's Commonwealth Games.

"If she can run a national record at Berlin, that could well get her into the final which would be outstanding for her in her first outing."

A former Britain junior representative, Hamblin had had her career slowed by injury so she came to New Zealand for a break in 2006.

Deciding to stay, she joined the North Shore Bays Cougars club where smarter training has seen her improve markedly over 800m and 1500m. She won comfortably over both distances at the March national championships and has been sharp in a European summer campaign under the guidance of coach Chris Pilone.

- NZPA