Teenage sprint sensation Edward Osei-Nketia has been advised not to chase his dream of Olympic glory in the black singlet – by the only other New Zealand sprinter of international quality.
The 17-year-old Osei-Nketia, son of New Zealand record holder Gus Nketia, has been in an eligibility tug of war ever since he won the Australian senior 100m title in Sydney over the weekend.
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 has attended 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.
Joseph Millar, the five-time New Zealand champion in the 100 m, says it's an opportunity Osei-Nketia shouldn't pass up.
"He truly deserves the title of 'freak' because that's exactly what he is," Millar told TVNZ.
"If it was me I'd be running for Australia, there's a good crop of sprinters in Australia at the moment which would make a great relay and he'd obviously be a part of that."
Joseph Millar failed to qualify for the final at last year's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Photo / Photosport
Though Osei-Nketia has expressed a desire to represent New Zealand at the Olympics – and is believed to also harbour dreams of playing rugby for the All Blacks –Australia does loom as an attractive option particularly given their successful relay programme.
"I know for him he's got a few different things to consider. It's not just an athletics decision. He's got to factor in rugby, whether that is 15s or sevens, and wanting to emulate his father who wore the black singlet," Millar told Stuff.
"The amount of support he would be able to get from them would be greater than what is available in New Zealand because of the ability to have relays and stuff.
"You've got an event where Australia can make an Olympic final and once you make an Olympic final in a relay then you're up for a medal."
Millar was at odds with Athletics NZ last year over his selection for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Initially left out of the New Zealand squad, Millar was a last-minute inclusion before failing to make the final in the men's 200.