Nick Moulai is one of the most exciting young endurance athletes in New Zealand. Here the 18-year-old, who landed the 800m and 1500m double in the U18 age-group at the 2017 New Zealand Championships, offers his take on our fortnightly questions.

What is your best athletics quality?

I believe my best athletic quality is my ability to return from injuries or setbacks with greater motivation. I have suffered multiple setbacks in my short career and I believe the road to recovery and success wouldnt have been as easy without the ongoing support from my parents and especially my coach, Graeme Christie

Why would you encourage anyone to try athletics?

I would encourage people to give athletics a go because of all the great friendships formed. In my time in athletics, I have made so many great mates and I will always cherish moments with the OG bois - you know who you are!

Who was your first coach and how did they influence your career?

I started to run distances over 400m at the age of 13 when my mate, Harrison Brown, (who is now competing internationally in mountain biking) convinced me to come along to a training session with Graeme Christie. It didnt take long for Graeme and I to form a strong relationship and that is why he is still my coach today. Graeme has had a huge influence on my running career and I have always seen him as more than just a coach. He has always been there for me when times get tough and his faith in me as an athlete has never diminished. 'Gaz' - as he is also known - brings with him a colourful approach to training and I believe that is one reason why he has had so much success with his athletes over the years. He has and still coaches multiple New Zealand champions such as Mitchell Small, Tom Moulai (my older brother), and Andres Hernandez. I cant stress enough how much of my success over the years I owe to Graeme Christie.

What are your athletics weaknesses?

My athletic weaknesses would have to be squeezing in too many one percenters when sometimes "less is more."

What is the funniest thing youve seen on an athletics track?

Jacob Holmes running an anchor leg in the 4x400m in only is undies and a singlet and

Matt Walsh winning a national title in the mens triple jump in his underwear.

What is your favourite athletics session?

My favourite session would be our sharpener session - 400m at 1500m pace rest 60sec, 600m at 1500m pace rest 60sec, 400m at 800m pace 60sec rest, 300m at 800m pace rest 60sec, 200m with whatever energy is left.

What is the greatest thing youve witnessed in an athletics stadium?

The greatest thing Ive witnessed in an athletics stadium would be Mitchell Small winning the New Zealand Secondary Schools Junior Boys 3000m and starting his celebrations 200m out, and coming a close second would be watching Usain Bolt race live.

Who has been your toughest rival?

My toughest rival would have to be Tyrone aka Isaiah Priddey. You never know whether this kid is going to vomit on your spikes or on the plush grass before and after a race!

If you could star in another sport which sport would it be?

Coming from New Zealand the dream as a young guy was to become an All Black, but after not growing until later that dream was cut short.

When travelling to a meeting what is the most important item in your suitcase?

The most important item in my suitcase when traveling internationally would be my passport, I dont recommend losing it anytime soon as it comes at a hefty cost to replace it. But other than that, I would say my headband and spikes.

What is your greatest regret?

My greatest regret would have to be not racing to my full potential in the two World U20 Trial races.

Who is the person you most admire?

Apart from my parents, I most admire are the New Zealand athletes who put us on the map such as John Walker, Peter Snell, Nick Willis and the late 'Big D' Dick Quax.

What are you most scared of?

I have quite a fear of spiders, I do not like spiders at all.

What is your favourite movie and why?

The Hangover movies. No reason needed, please just watch them.

When was the last time you looked at your athletics medals?

Some of them are on the wall, so I guess quite often. They act as a motivation to keep striving for better.

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