Cameron French is searching for half a second.
It doesn't seem like much time but in the world of 400m hurdles, such splits are tough to whittle off your personal best. The 22-year-old is the leading Kiwi in the discipline this summer after his career-best 50.04s in Auckland last month.
He will tackle the 400m hurdles today when the New Zealand Track and Field Championships start at Newtown Park in Wellington.
French will be after Michael Cochrane's national record of 49.72s; Cochrane won't be in action today because of illness. But the time French really wants to crack is 49.50s - the world championships A standard.
"I do believe I am capable of running under 49.50s but, in saying that, there's lots of factors that can prevent me from doing that," French said. "I've worked really hard this last winter and made some good improvements in technique and strength."
French has been in sensational form this season and holds the best marks in the country for the 100m, 200m, 400m and the 400m hurdles - a rare feat.
He is likely to run only the 400m hurdles - his preferred event - and the 4x100m relay this weekend, although he is also entered in the 100m heats.
The 22-year-old, a construction management student at Wintec, will head to a meeting in Sydney next week before races in Brisbane and Japan punctuate a busy season. There are also the World University Games in South Korea in July.
The world championships take place in China in August but next year's Olympics are also in French's sights.
"Rio has been the long-term goal and I just hope that I can get something like the world champs in along the way."
He wasn't always a hurdler as knee injuries hobbled him as a teenager but when he was a Year 13 student at St Paul's Collegiate School in Hamilton his body co-operated and he tore through the regional ranks.
His parents were both promising athletes and the 400m hurdles, perhaps the most gruelling event on the track, has always appealed.
"You've got the endurance, you've got the technique and speed; you've got to be able to adapt," he said. "It's just all those elements that work together and if one of them doesn't line up, it's the difference between a good time and a really good time."
This weekend's three-day programme will also feature the resumption of Jacko Gill and Tom Walsh's shot put rivalry on Sunday as one of the notable events.
Angie Petty (nee Smit) and Nikki Hamblin will battle in the women's 800m (tomorrow) and 1500m (Sunday), while Nick Willis will run the men's 1500m with the final scheduled for Sunday after tomorrow's heats.
Siositina Hakeai and Te Rina Keenan are locked in an intriguing contest to prove who is the best female discus thrower in New Zealand and they will meet again today.
The Robertson twins, Jake and Zane, were also set to compete in the 5000m today.
Men's 400m hurdles; Cameron French
Men's 5000m featuring the Robertson twins Zane and Jake
Women's discus; Siositina Hakeai and Te Rina Keenan
12.45pm: Men's javelin; Stuart Farquhar and Ben Langton-Burnell
4.30pm: 4x100m relay finals
12.30: Men's shot put; Jacko Gill and Tom Walsh
2.05pm: Women's 1500m final; Angie Petty and Nikki Hamblin
2.15pm: Men's 1500m final; with Nick Willis