Nick Willis is pleased to be just off World Championship qualifying pace so early in the year.
The Olympic medallist has missed the 1500m qualifying time by a second and a half in a specially organised race in Auckland.
Willis says they were about a second off the pace at the 800m mark.
"I wasn't able to go to that extra gear which in some of those Grand Prix races I'm able to do in Europe so that will come. This is the best I've run in the early season for a long time."
Willis is far from despondent.
"Sets me up beautifully. I'm only a second off doing that on my own so get me to Sydney, I haven't won a race in Australia since the Commonwealth Games in 06, so it'd be nice to finally win one over the ditch seven years after that."
The Sydney Grand Prix is next weekend before Willis and his wife head home the States to prepare for the birth of their first baby, expected in June.
Willis says it's great to be injury-free building into the season which moves to the Sydney Grand Prix where he hopes to qualify for Moscow next week.