Nick Willis evoked memories of the golden days of New Zealand middle distance running when he won bronze (later upgraded to silver) at the 2008 Olympics. Four years on, he is running into form at the best possible time; TVNZ reports:
Olympic silver medallist Nick Willis has smashed his own New Zealand 1500m record this morning, clocking 3m 30.35s for third at the Monaco Diamond League meeting - his final outing before the London Olympics.In a very quick race, Willis took 1.44s off the mark he set at the same meeting in Monaco last year. The time is also an Oceania record, beating the 3m 31.06s set by Australian Ryan Gregson, also at this meet, two years ago.The race was won by Beijing Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop from Kenya in 3m 28.88s - the world's fastest time this year - followed by fellow Kenyan Nixon Chepseba in 3m 29.77s.Willis' result comes two weeks before the Olympic 1500 metres heats.
That is a fantastic run by Willis; the fastest 1500m ever run by a New Zealander. Ominously though, the two Kenyan runners went even quicker, and as always, will shape up as the favourites for track and field's marquee event.