21 Mar 2016

Bronze for Willis at World Indoor Champs

Bronze for Willis at World Indoor Champs

Author: Comms Admin  /  Categories: News  / 
Above: Nick Willis finishes third at the World Indoor Champs 1500m final in Portland. Photo by Getty Images for IAAF.

Nick Willis had been disqualified in both previous occasions he had competed at the World Indoor Championships, so Portland in 2016 was in some ways about redemption, and it came after a very brave move mid-race.

The 32 year old from Lower Hutt, determined to keep out of trouble, took up his usual position at the back of the field and with two laps of the 200m track left to run he made a big move, going around the whole field to take the lead.

The bold tactic looked to have worked and Willis kept the pursuers at bay into the home straight, but his nemesis, American Matt Centrowitz who had tracked Willis, timed his race to perfection, sprinting past the New Zealander with 30 metres left to take out the race.

Jakub Holusa from the Czech Republic just pipped Willis for the silver, leaving the New Zealander to win his first IAAF championship medal in 3:44.37, 0.15 behind winner Centrowitz.

Willis has an Olympic silver and three Commonwealth Games medals including a gold from 2006 and an Olympic silver but had never before medalled at a world championships, either indoor or outdoor.

The Kiwi middle distance star will now return to his Michigan base to continue his campaign for his fourth Olympic Games in Rio, hoping to replicate the form that took him to an Olympic medal in 2008.

New Zealand finished the World Indoor champs with a gold to Tom Walsh and two bronze medals to Valerie Adams and Willis, the best ever result at the indoor champs and a good omen in an Olympic year.



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