Nick Willis’ first Diamond League race of the year resulted in a second placing over 5000m this morning in 13min 29.78sec at the Icahn Stadium in New York.
Willis, who confesses to still being a novice over the 12.5 lap distance, finished just 0.3s behind winner Ben True (USA) but ahead of many well-performed African and European athletes including Thomas Longosiwa (KEN), winner of the previous Diamond League 5000m race in Birmingham.
Willis ran at the back of the field for the first five laps before moving up to the middle of the field and then joining the leading bunch when the pace went on over the final kilometre. Placed sixth with a lap to go, the Upper Hutt athlete made a bold move and hit the front with 100m to run, but True caught him in the closing stages.
While the hot, blustery conditions were not conducive to fast times, Willis’ run will give him a lot of confidence heading into his upcoming races, leading up to the Beijing World Championships in late August.
Tom Walsh was also in the mix in the shot put at the adidas New York Diamond League, placing third with a good performance of 21.16m. The competition was won by American Joe Kovacs with 21.67. Kovacs leads the world in 2015 with a best of 22.35.
Walsh’s best throw came in the second round and he followed it up with 21.12 in the final round. It was a very good series for Walsh with three throws over 21m. Behind the Timaru athlete were two former world champions, the Commonwealth champion and the World indoor champion.
Meanwhile, Angie Petty (nee Smit) has had a top result in Ireland overnight, winning the 1500m at the Le Chéile International meeting in 4:08.54, a personal best by over 3 seconds and moving her to number five on the national all-time list and ahead of some of New Zealand’s top athletes Kimberley Smith, Anne Audain, Lorrain Moller, Anne Hare and Dianne Rodger.