'Sorry for letting New Zealand down'
Wed, 08 Aug 2012 8:07a.m.
By 3 News online staff
When the pace came on in the blue-ribbon 1500 metre final, Kiwi Nick Willis didn’t have an answer.
Willis faded as others surged past with 200 metres to go, finishing in ninth place.
He had a chance to write himself into the history books this morning and secure New Zealand's 100th Olympic medal, but his famous late kick wasn’t to be seen as Algeria’s Taoufil Makhloufi blew away and eased to the line in a time of 3.34.08.
Makhloufi had previously been kicked out of the Games for intentionally running slow and then pulling out of the 800 metres, but was reinstated and went on to win the gold medal.
The silver went to Leonel Manzano of the United States, with Morocco’s Abdalaati Iguider taking the bronze.
“Technically it worked out really well and I was excited where I was… my legs were shot,” says Willis.
“Not overly excited about how it went… quite disappointed.”
He says he didn’t have an answer for the performance.
“Sorry for letting New Zealand down… I did my absolute best.”
After the race, Willis said he was happy with how the race had started. He sat back during the first lap and was mid-field on the pole line and just trying to keep out of trouble.
With 600 metres to go Willis moved forward, and by the time the bell sounded for the last lap he was up with the leaders and ready to strike.
But the 24-year-old Makhloufi’s kick was too much for the field and Willis' "legs were gone".
Makhloufi’s opened up a five metre lead and eased to the gold medal.
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10/08/2012 2:19:34 p.m.
eli Proctor wrote:
good try nick
10/08/2012 11:21:58 a.m.
T he former great middle distance running coach Arthur Lydiard once commented that some kiwi athletes tend to run the race over many times in their minds leading up to the race & thus letting too much anxietly & over thinking set in draining the body both mentally & physically & I believe Nick Willis was most probably a casulty of this.
9/08/2012 6:07:39 p.m.
Steve current wrote:
Nick Willis you did your best and probably pushed your limits but in the end you got into the final which is pretty good
9/08/2012 7:56:35 a.m.
N.Z is extremely proud of you. To get in the finals is huge and you did your best on the day. Ignore the comments of John Walker, he's very unpopular because of his arrogance.
9/08/2012 7:39:11 a.m.
SO proud of your efforts Nick - and even more, your attitude. No whingeing, no excuses; you have been a wonderful ambassador for NZ. We were right behind you and will continue to be.
9/08/2012 12:14:01 a.m.
Marion Kaiki-Ripo wrote:
You tried your hardest, and we as a nation appreciate that. And I know I can say this for all New Zealanders we are proud.....PROUD AS
8/08/2012 7:53:36 p.m.
You are an inspirational athlete Nick and we are all so proud of you
8/08/2012 6:39:04 p.m.
Bazza Dustin wrote:
Great work Nick and Well done! I am a Proud KIWI and it is great to see you being a proud KIWI Competitor..... Sometimes something does not click, But on another day you would probably have been there at the Front. I Hope you can Learn from the Experience. I would have loved to have been there. Another Day, We are Still behind you, and proud of you!!! Cheers
8/08/2012 1:41:58 p.m.
Chin up Nick!! We are proud of you man, you gave it your all. Don't give up, there's lots more to come!
8/08/2012 1:30:40 p.m.
abdul hafi wrote:
its very true every sportman or woman has his or her day,and today nick it was not your day,but you have made us all proud,you are and all atheletes are shinning stars of nz,and are doing their best,we are all proud of you all out there
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