Athletics New Zealand have selected teenage sprint sensation Edward Osei-Nketia for the World Championships - if he confirms his allegiance to New Zealand.
The 17-year-old has been in an eligibility tug of war ever since he won the Australian senior 100m title in Sydney earlier this month.
He is now believed to be the world's second-fastest current junior (under-20), with his Sydney semifinal time of 10.19s behind only 18-year-old Jamaican Oblique Seville's 10.13s.
Osei-Nketia, who is attending Scots College in Wellington on a scholarship this year, spent the eight previous years in Australia, where he first started sprinting. Following his amazing victory at Sydney's Olympic Park, the big flyer revealed Aussie officials have approached him about running in the green and gold.
However, New Zealand may have the inside running, after offering him the chance to race at the World Athletics Championships in Doha in September.
Osei-Nketia has been named as one of nine athletes who have been conditionally selected, and have until the end of the qualification period (6 September 2019) to secure their place in the team.
Additionally, the youngster has not been selected in Australia's squad for the world relay championships in May, potentially offering another hint that New Zealand may have the edge in earning his allegiance.
Osei-Nketia's father, New Zealand record holder Gus Nketia, says the choice is likely to be made before his son's 18th birthday, in early May. While he will give advice and be a sounding board in the decision-making process, the call will ultimately be his son's to make, though Nketia did note what the main factors may be in the eventual decision.
"We need to make a decision on which country he wants to represent, because there is the [Oceania Championships] coming up. It comes down to Edward, whichever way he wants to go. We want a country that will be behind him to help him achieve what he wants to get, and not to represent just for the sake of the sport," he told Radio Sport.
Athletics New Zealand have also confirmed nine athletes for the world champs, selecting those who have met the IAAF Entry Standard.
Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill will go head-to-head in the Men's shot put, after both bettering the IAAF Entry Standard of 20.70m. After a disappointing result at the Sir Graeme Douglas International Track Challenge on March 21, Tom Walsh reaffirmed his dominance in the event with a series of throws over 21m at the Australian National Championships in early April.
2018 IAAF Under 20 World Champion Maddison-Lee Wesche claimed her place with a throw of 18.32m at the Sir Graeme Douglas International. The throw bettered her personal best of 17.10m by more than a metre and put her over the IAAF entry mark of 18.00m.
Eliza McCartney convincingly met the IAAF Entry Standard of 4.56m in January, clearing 4.85m at the Potts Classic in the Hawke's Bay. Portia Bing set a new personal best and New Zealand Record of 55.86 at the Australian National Championships to meet the IAAF Entry Standard of 56.00 in the 400m hurdles.
Jake Robertson has been selected for the 10,000m based on his performance at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where he set the NZ record of 27:30.90. He has also been selected for the marathon from Toronto last October.
In addition to Jake in the men's marathon, Ruth Croft has been selected for the women's marathon based on her recent 2hr 34.18 in Seoul.
2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Silver medallist Alana Barber has been selected for the 20km race walk, while Quentin Rew has met the IAAF Entry Standards in both the 20km and 50km race walk.
If all goes well, they will be joined by the nine athletes conditionally selected -Zane Robertson, Nick Willis, Camille Buscomb, Angela Petty, Zoe Hobbs, Hamish Kerr, Brad Mathas, Olivia McTaggart and, potentially most importantly for Athletics NZ, Osei-Nketia.