Olympics: Willis still a fan of Sir John, despite criticisms

By Hayden Donnell

Nick Willis after his disappointing run in the Olympic Games 1500m final at Olympic Stadium in London. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Nick Willis after his disappointing run in the Olympic Games 1500m final at Olympic Stadium in London. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Nick Willis is still a fan of Sir John Walker despite the running great expressing disappointment at his 1500m final performance.

Sir John, who won 1500m gold in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, believed Willis would pull away from his competitors in the final stretch of his final yesterday.
Instead the 29-year-old faded badly in the last 300m of the race, eventually dropping to ninth place.

Sir John said he was stunned at the result, as he believed Willis was a strong chance to deliver a gold medal for New Zealand.

"I thought he would move with 300 to go and he didn't move he went backwards. I was just shocked because he's promised us a lot... I was hoping he would get this one today because I thought this was his opportunity. His chance.

"I don't want to condemn the boy. But I was disappointed because I expected more."
Willis this morning took to Twitter to maintain he had a good relationship with Sir John.

The running great empathised with his difficult run and his words had been "blown out of context", Willis said

"Always been a John Walker fan, and wont let headlines change my opinion!," he said.

In his earlier comments, Sir John said a training issue or a problem with his recovery could have limited Willis in the final.

He said the younger runner should wipe the slate clean and focus on the rest of his career.

"At the end of the day only he knows what went wrong. He's the one that's going to suffer most."

- APNZ

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