Think Peter Snell and Murray Halberg; then think Walker, Dixon and Quax; then, with the greatest respect, set them aside. Now is the best period New Zealand athletics has had. So the question is: how to sustain it?

New Zealand sport has had golden periods in its past, which didn’t last.

Remember the men’s hockey gold in Montreal in 1976. It was a fantastic achievement but did it lead to sustained excellence for a decade or more? No.

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