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Willis pulls out of 5000m

Published: 4:08PM Thursday May 03, 2012 Source: Fairfax

  • Nick Willis

Olympic 1500m silver medalist Nick Willis has abandoned his plan to also race the 5000m at the London Games later this year.

A buoyant Willis had floated the plan of running the gruelling 1500-5000m double in London around the national championships in Auckland in March.

He had said at the time that it might be a good way of breaking up his training regime leading into London and also of keeping his coach "honest".

He had even gone as far as identifying a couple of potential races in which he would have a crack at the qualifying time.

"[But] if my training is not going 100 per cent well, if I've got the slightest pain in my shins or something like that, we won't worry about it ," he said after claiming the 1500m title in Auckland.

"The 1500 is what matters and I'm not going to take any unnecessary risks."

Sure enough, the Michigan-based New Zealander today announced via Twitter that he had had a rethink over the ambitious double in London.

"Great meeting with my coaches and wife today," said Willis on the social network site.

"The 5000m was a nice idea, but decided that we don't need to keep chasing a standard."

He had said in March that even contemplating the double had been an indication that his training had been going exceedingly well, though he made it more than clear that the 1500 remained his priority.

Today that became a sole focus for his crack at going one better than the silver medal he eventually picked up in Beijing.

"The 1500m will now be my sole focus of the Olympics, and we have a great plan set in place," said Willis on Twitter.

"Blessed to have such wise council!"

His final tweet indicated that he would actually be downsizing his distances in the leadup to London.

"They even convinced me to come out of 800m retirement as a key prep tool before London, which I wasn't too happy about," he added.

Willis lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.