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Willis shakes off Rio cobwebs with win

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5 days ago

Eight months after winning bronze at the Rio Olympics, Kiwi runner Nick Willis showed he'd lost little pace in taking out the invitational street mile ahead of the Boston Marathon.

It was his first race since finishing third over 1500m in Rio, and the third time he'd won the street mile.

Willis, who turns 34 next week, clocked four minutes, 13.2 seconds to edge Americans Cristian Soratos (4:13.5) and training mate Will Leer (4:13.7).

Willis had taken time off since his bronze medal-winning heroics at the Olympics, "to give my mind and my body a chance to recover".

But he showed the hunger was still there as he begins preparations for the world athletics championships in London in August.

It wasn't a comfortable race, and Willis admitted he'd had to work harder than the two previous times he'd won the same event.

"The turnover was there, but holding top speed was a bit more difficult," he said.

"I was struggling a little bit, but I'm not worried about that. The main thing is to get ready for London.

"There's plenty of time."

Michigan-based Willis has another street mile scheduled in Minneapolis next month before he hits the track in a hunt to better the world championship 1500m A standard of 3:36.

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