By Charlie Bristow

Dame Valerie Adams' presence is still being felt at the World Athletics Championships in London.

The three-time world and two-time Olympic champion has missed this year's event as she is pregnant with her first child.

However Ben Langton-Burnell, who'll throw in the men's javelin heats tomorrow morning [NZT] said the shot putter had some advice for him when he was back in New Zealand training for his maiden appearance at the World Champs.


"She was in the gym just before I left New Zealand and so I asked her if she had any tips as it's my first time. She said don't let the moment get into your brain, you've got to keep grounded and stick to the process."

The 24-year-old heads into London's Olympic Stadium ranked 24th in the sport this season, following a year's best throw of 82.44 metres.

He believes he'll leave the World Championships with a better ranking, after improving his personal best by five metres already this year.

"I think I've had eight or nine competitions above my old personal best from last year and that was one of those eureka moments where I was like wow, and I feel like there's about to be one of those moments again."

"If I can get the technical stuff that I've been working on right, then I think there'll be another spike coming up."

New Zealand middle distance runner Angie Petty and her husband have been taking their wedding vows to new levels heading into her campaign in the 800 metres, which also kicks off tomorrow.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games finalist has been jumping between England and the USA having left New Zealand's shores in May.

Her partner, Sam Petty, has never been too far away as they've trained and raced together.

"It's pretty cool, his PB is one minute and 49 seconds which is exactly 10 seconds better than mine, so he's quite competitive to get his down as well... It's been going really well training together, he got fourth at nationals so he's getting back there after having an injury. We do a lot of the work outs together and he paced me to a two-flat in an open race in Devon which is perfect heading into London," Petty said.

Petty is realistic about how far she can go at the World Champs, given the 800 metres is one of the more competitive events in the track and field programme.

"The women's 800 metres is known as one of the toughest events at the moment. I think with Caster Semenya, Francine Niyonsaba and even Ajee Wilson smashing the American record by over a second was just huge... Everyone is running really really well and the depth is just crazy so it's really exciting, but you don't want to think about it too much as it may put you off."

"I feel like I can improve though, as a few of my friends have shown over the years they hover above two minutes for a while and then all of a sudden they smashed it at World Champs and go 1:58, so im hoping that can happen to me as well."

Meanwhile, bed time stories are just as important as stretching to Nick Willis a day out from competition.

The Rio Olympic bronze medallist is joined by his wife, Sierra and their three year old son, Lachlan in London as he lines up in the 1500 metre race.

Willis has never found any issue juggling the demands of an athlete with the role of a husband and dad.

"Well that's the great thing about my wife, she tells me that the best way to have that healthy balance in life is not to be selfish. She'll put me first, but I shouldn't put myself first. So she's here to make sure I have everything I need, but I should never have that focus where I tell them 'No you guys need to clear off'. So having my wife and my son here helps me keep things balance the whole time."

"We've seen it with countless people, that when they become a mum or a dad, their improvements continue growing. I think that's because you stop being so focused on yourself the whole time and that's when the pressure, that's when the negative thoughts and the doubts can creep in so he's actually a very healthy distraction."

Kiwis in action Friday morning NZT:
5:30am - Camille Buscomb - women's 5,000 metres heats.
6:43am - Angie Petty - women's 800 metres heats.
7:35am - Ben Langton Burnell - men's javelin heats.
7:47am - Nick Willis - men's 1500 metres heats.

Charlie Bristow is in London thanks to Air New Zealand.