Olympic 1500 metres bronze medalist Nick Willis has just one more chance to clinch a spot at next month's IAAF world athletics championships, after missing the automatic selection standard in Italy overnight.

Chasing 3min 36sec to earn his berth at London, Willis finished almost a second outside the required time, clocking 3min 36.95sec for fourth.

That performance betters the "B" selection standard and is currently good enough for the international body to invite him as one of the top 45 runners in the world, corrected to just three from each country.

If he stays within that group, his medal at Rio last year and distinguished career at this level should see him confirmed by Athletics NZ selectors, but he ranks only 42nd and could yet slip out of contention before the deadline.


Hampered by shin splints earlier this year, Willis, 34, began his European campaign late, scheduling just three races before the qualifying deadline of July 23.

Last week, he won his opening contest in Brussells, clocking 3min 37.69sec and while his latest outing was an improvement, it leaves him with one more chance to secure selection.

That will come at the Monaco Diamond League meeting on July 21, where he has twice set national records over 1500 metres. In 2012, he clocked 3min 30.35sec and two years later, reduced that mark to 3min 29.91sec.

Meanwhile, with a week remaining before the selection deadline, Kiwi throwers Marshall Hall, Ben Langton-Burnell and Julia Ratcliffe are still in contention for a late world championships call-up.

With an invitation cut-off of 32 athletes, Hall currently sits at 23 in the men's discus with 64.55m, Langton-Burnell's best javelin throw of 82.44m sees him in 27th, while Ratcliffe is right on the edge, with 70.35m for 26th in the women's hammer.