Above: Nick Willis finishing third in the Rio Olympics 1500m final. Photo by Ian Walton / Getty Images Sport.
Olympic bronze medallist Nick Willis is the tenth Kiwi athlete confirmed in the New Zealand team for the World Championships in London starting 4 August.
Willis’ selection was announced this morning by Athletics New Zealand following his race on Monaco on Saturday, where he ran 3:34.74, easily under the A selection standard of 3:36.00. The performance came at the very end of the qualification window which closes on 23 July (24 July in NZ).
London 2017 will be the 19th time Willis has been selected for a New Zealand team to a major international event since 2002 when he went to the World Junior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica finishing 4th in the 1500m.
Since then Willis has represented New Zealand at four Olympic Games, three Commonwealth Games, five IAAF World Championships, three World Indoor Championships and two World Cross Country Championship events.
The spoils have certainly been impressive with two Olympic Games medals, three Commonwealth Games medals and a World Indoor championships medal.
Missing from the trophy cabinet is a medal from an IAAF Championships. The best effort from Willis’ five previous outings was a sixth placing at the most recent championships at Beijing 2015.
But the 34 year old is showing few signs of slowing down and has set personal best times for 1500m, mile, 3000m and 5000m since turning 31. The 1500m bronze in Rio at 33 showed he still has what it needs to succeed on the world stage in the blue-ribbon event.
The Michigan-based former Hutt Valley athlete has indicated he has no plans to end his competitive career just yet with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and Tokyo Olympics firmly on his radar.
Willis becomes the tenth New Zealand athlete named for the World Championships, joining 10,000m runners Camille Buscomb and Zane Robertson along with shot putters Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill, pole vaulter Eliza McCartney, sprinter Joseph Millar, 800m runner Angie Petty, race walker Quentin Rew and javelin thrower Ben Langton Burnell.
NZ team details