Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Athletics: Nick Willis clocks another record

The 31-year-old clocked 3m 29.91s. Photo / Getty Images
The 31-year-old clocked 3m 29.91s. Photo / Getty Images

Athletics New Zealand must be looking for a fresh parchment to engrave their middle-distance records.

Yesterday, Nick Willis broke a second national record and created a fourth personal best in the space of 66 days, demolishing his own 1500m mark and joining just 26 other men to have run under 3m 30s.

The 31-year-old clocked 3m 29.91s, the 86th fastest time over the distance and 0.44s better than his previous best, to finish behind six African athletes at the Diamond League event in Monaco.

The fastest 1500m times ever recorded by a fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh place-getter were set in the race won by Kenyan Silas Kiplagat.

The Monaco meet is where Willis has set his last three national 1500m records, the previous two coming in 2012 and 2011.

Willis' has excelled since May 15 when he ran a personal best 13m20.3s in the 5000m, an event he will contest for the first time at the Commonwealth Games.

On June 11, he became the second New Zealander, after Sir John Walker, to break the 3m 50s barrier for the mile when finishing second at the Bislett Games in Oslo.

On June 17, he shaved 0.58s off Walker's 31-year-old record for the 3000m at Ostrava in the Czech Republic, clocking 7m 36.91s.

"It was beyond my wildest dreams," Willis said. "A lot of my training has been gearing up for the 5000m. I was called over for an interview and they told me the time. I said, 'get out of here'. I did a celebration lap to find my wife, son and some friends from my Italian training base who had driven up for the occasion."

- Herald on Sunday

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