Edward Osei-Nketia's heart is in New Zealand, but the AIS track will always feel like home and he hopes it will be sub 10-second return on Thursday night.
Osei-Nketia will be back in the capital for the Canberra Track Classic less than a year after he was in the middle of a trans-Tasman tug of war for his services.
The former St Edmund's College sensation won the Australian 100 metres sprint crown last year, clocking 10.22 seconds at the Australian track and field championships.
But a desire to compete for his country of birth and follow in his father Augustine's footsteps convinced him to commit his athletics career to New Zealand.
Osei-Nketia has hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games and his Canberra comeback could be the launching pad given the AIS track is regarded as the fastest in Australia.
Osei-Nketia moved to Wellington two years ago to finish school and pursue his Olympic dreams, but it meant moving away from his family.
"It actually feels good to be back, seeing old friends and family," Osei-Nketia said.
"To be honest, it's been very, very hard without my mum and dad there to guide me. I just want to be the best athlete possible.
"It was really hard to pick New Zealand over Australia because I was [in Canberra] for eight years. But I was born in New Zealand, so I had to pick here.
"It's been pretty good at the moment and we'll see in the long term if the decision pays off.
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"My goal on Thursday is just to run fast, just to focus on myself mentally. It's early in the season, but I'd like to break my PB - it's too old now, it's got to go. It would be special to do it in Canberra."
Osei-Nketia will face Australia's rising sprint stars in Canberra less than a year after beating them to win the national title.
His personal best is 10.19 seconds was set last year and he wants to crack the 10-second barrier to announce his arrival as an Olympic contender.
"My first priority is focusing on the world under-20s championships, and hopefully as a bonus I can get to the Olympics. I really, really want to be able to get there," Osei-Nketia said.
"If I can't get there this time, we'll have to focus on the next four years because I'll be in my prime then. But I'm excited for this year anyway.
"I just feel like one day I can actually crack 10 seconds and set a standard for not just New Zealand, but Australia as well."
Australia's best athletes will converge on the AIS as Tokyo missions begin to hit full speed.
Lauren Boden will race in the 400 metres hurdles and Keely Small will race in the 800 metres as she aims to earn her first Olympic squad.
Officials will consider running the sprint events on the back straight to boost their chances of securing quick times.
Osei-Nketia will square off with Jack Hale and Rohan Browning, while Brandon Starc will compete in the high jump.
"This is going to be huge in terms of high performance. The quality of the fields is quite incredible, it will be one of the best Canberra Track Classics in recent history," said Athletics ACT chief James Kaan.
"We'll do the best we can to allow these athletes to really run fast. It's almost the who's who of athletics in Australia in Canberra."
CANBERRA TRACK CLASSIC
Thursday: Events from 4.30-8.35pm