Former national 400m champion Camryn Smart has made a remarkable return from injury and is following in the footsteps of Olympic mum, Toni Hodgkinson.
Smart finished second at the Pacific Games in Solomon Islands two days ago.
"I am pretty proud, and I am just happy to be back running. To take a silver back home is just an added bonus," Smart said.
She was aware that she was sitting in medal contention before her race but, "I knew it was going to be tough especially racing against Ellie."
That is Ellie Beer, the Australian who took out the competition with a time of 52.67 seconds.
"I knew there was going to be a good chance of me medalling, so I went all out for it".
Smart crossed the line second in a time of 55.30 seconds.
The former national champion missed out on her track and field season last year after carrying a hip injury.
Smart said her main goal was to get a couple races in before the New Zealand domestic athletics season starts in January, "so the Pacific games was a really cool place to start."
She had managed only one practice 400m run before departing for the games so she "didn't have super high expectations. I just wanted to race."
Born into a talented track and field family, Smart's mother, Toni Hodgkinson is an 800m runner who represented New Zealand at both the Atlanta 1960 and Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Hodgkinson also competed in the Auckland 1990 and Kuala Lumpur 1998 Commonwealth games.
"Learning from her experiences has been really good. She just gets it." says Smart.
"She always makes me feel better about a race and she hypes me up."
Before leaving to the Pacific games, her mum told her to, "go have fun and remember what it's like to be back out there."
Hodgkinson said, "I thought her performance was solid. I think that she can be happy with a silver. It's been a wee while since she's been in a big competition."
Camryn's father, Alistar Smart is also a former national 400m hurdler and decathlete.
Smart chuckles and says, "Dad has been timing me on the TV with his stopwatch whilst I've been over here."
She is now based in Auckland with Bays Athletics Club, but when Smart is back home in Nelson, her parents help with her training.
"Dad will be timing and Mum will join me for 300 metre reps or anything longer.
"Mum can't quite keep up with the sprints but she will get me with the long-distance runs. She's still got it."
Hodgkinson says, "it's been lovely helping her with the longer reps as I have more experience over those."
Smart said there was a possibility of her going up to the 800 metres. Until then she wants to focus on getting faster over the 400 metre.
Hodgkinson thinks it will be a good event for Camryn to tackle so she can develop her strength and speed endurance.
Smart also has big aspirations of following her mother's footsteps of representing New Zealand on the Olympic stage as well.
"I enjoy that she is involved in athletics", Hodgkinson said.
"It's been lovely for us to reconnect with athletics, and we get to enjoy Camryn's journey as well."
The focus for the kiwi runner now is preparing for her domestic season opener next year in January at the Potts Classic, Hawkes Bay.
"I still feel like I am learning to race, and it will take a couple more competitions for me to get back to my old form that I was in before I was injured."
That form secured her a senior gold medal and lifetime best of 53.98 seconds at the 2021 New Zealand track and field championships.
She credits her current coach Matthew Wyatt, a former long jump champion, who has told her to be "patient" with the process.
"He said it will come back once I'm out there. It will click eventually".
And her own advice as a 22-year-old for young kids who want to get into athletics? "Like Mum said, it's all about having fun. If you're not having fun what's the point?"