Nick Willis at Moscow 2013
Nick Willis after finishing ninth in his heat of the 1500m in 3m 39.83s qualified as one of the six fastest outside the top six in each heat for the semi-finals.
The Beijing Olympic Games silver medallist was second to last over the first lap covered by Asbel Kiprop in 59.65s. Over the third lap Willis was eighth and going in the final 400m was 11th. Kiprop the 2008 Olympic champion and defending world champion from Daegu won in 3m 38.15s, from Abdalaati Iguider of Morocco 3m 38.41s and Lopez Lomong of USA 3m 38.48s. Willis was 21st of the 24 qualifiers for the semi-finals.
Willis said that he didn’t feel very good the whole way.
“It felt like a sprint, those guys were too good for me today, I wasn’t even able to see what happened up front I was just trying to hang on, that’s what happens when you race the best in the world,” he said.
Willis who was injured at the Shanghai Diamond League meeting in mid May has only had a mile race since then in his home town of Michigan.
“A 3m 56s mile is still a long way from kicking a 3m 35s 1500m or whatever. I was hoping to run a lot better based on indicators.”
“I drew a strong heat today and if I can’t make the top six I’ve got a lot of work to do if I even get through to the final,” he added.
“There’s every chance with a couple of good nights sleep and the continual improvement coming back that I might improve.”
“I’m still going to race in Europe afterwards because I know it is going to come at some stage, I was just hoping it would come for today,” said Willis.