Thursday, July 5, 2007

Kiwi Willis Serves Notice to Osaka 1500m Field

While many of the favorites to win the men's 1500m run at the World Championships in Osaka this September are off racing in Europe this summer, New Zealander Nick Willis is taking a page from fellow Kiwi Peter Snell's training book. Willis is skipping the European circuit this season to prepare for Osaka:

"I've gone to Europe the past couple of years and run some fast times. But I haven't been able to match that same fitness a month later at the Olympics or world championships," Willis said.

"So this season I want to make sure I have my best fitness at the world champs rather than waste it in races early on.

"Getting fit is not really my problem. Holding my fitness seems to be the issue, so that is the idea behind this."

Willis' strategy is in marked contrast to the pack of world-class milers who will be running tomorrow night in the Meeting Gaz de France in Paris, including Bernard Lagat, Mehdi Baala, and Alan Webb. They might run some fast times tomorrow night and over the course of the next few weeks, but will they be able to sustain their fitness over the next couple of months and keep up with a fresh-legged Willis in Osaka when a world championship is on the line?

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