Athletics: Willis sets personal best in Croatia

New Zealand's Nick Willis has run a personal best time for the 3000m at the Zagreb World Challenge in Croatia today. Photo / Getty Images.
New Zealand's Nick Willis has run a personal best time for the 3000m at the Zagreb World Challenge in Croatia today. Photo / Getty Images.

New Zealand's Nick Willis has run a personal best time for the 3000m at the Zagreb World Challenge in Croatia today.

Willis' time of 7min 40.62s removed more than four seconds from his previous best, a 7:44.90 indoors in Boston nine years ago.

He finished 10th in a strong field in the penultimate World Challenge meet of the European season.

Kenyan Caleb Ndikui in a meeting record 7:35.06.

The time lifts Willis up from fifth to second on the New Zealand alltime 3000m list behind John Walker's 7:37.49 set in 1982.

"My body and mind were in shock once I passed the 1200m mark," the Olympic 1500m silver medallist from Beijing five years ago, said.

"The fitness is obviously there, but I hadn't done anything to prepare specifically for a race over a mile, so it felt like I was just hanging on for dear life."

Willis is back on more familiar territory this weekend, contesting the 1500m in Rieti, Italy.

- NZ Herald

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