Although feeling sluggish Nick Wills made it comfortably through to the semi-finals of the 1500m at the IAAF World Championships in London.

Racing in the second of three heats and needing to finish in the first six or the next six fastest times Wills finished fifth in 3:42.75 and 16th out of the 24 who qualified.

"It felt really comfortable, my wife said its going to feel rusty the first race, but I said dont worry I feel amazing. But I really tried to back off from my warm up and not do too much to get excited as the biggest challenge is getting into the race and theres less than 24 hours before turn around to the semi-final," said a relaxed Willis.

"All that mattered was getting through using as little possible energy.

"I felt a little sluggish but not tired from working too hard, as much as it is to get out of third gear.

"There werent as many guys challenging in the home straight as I thought there might be, so that was fortunate.

"I expected Robby Andrews and Ryan Gregson to come flying by but they didnt and I was able to jog it in the last 30 metres without having to fight to the line," said Willis.

The 34 year old is attending his sixth World Championships and although he has won gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, and a silver in 2008 and a bronze last year in Rio at the Olympic Games but never won a medal at a World Championships. He made the semi-final in 2005, was tenth in 2007, 12th in 2011, reached the semi-final in 2013 and in Beijing in 2015 was sixth.

Working with his coach Ron Warhurst the three times New Zealand champion with a personal best of 3:29.66 in Monaco in 2015 is pleased with his fitness.

"I hoped that it would finally click. I had a couple of indicators at the longer distance work I did but it wasnt clicking for the faster stuff until about ten days ago when I did a work out that I do before my big races and that was right up there with what I did before Rio and before a couple of my 3:29s so that indicates things are going well and to execute it in a race is another thing and hopefully I have enough strength to get through the three rounds at 34 years of age. Thats probably the biggest challenge as you age is the recovery time.

"Ive got my dinner (sesame chicken and rice and pesto pasta) ready to eat on the bus ride home, straight into the bath tub with ice and then massage and hopefully fall asleep before 3am," he said.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Athletics New Zealand