20 Aug 2008

Bronze for Willis in 1500m

12:27 pm on 20 August 2008

New Zealand has an eighth medal at the Beijing Olympics.

Middle distance runner Nick Willis won a bronze in the 1500 metres on Tuesday night.

2005 world champion Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain won in 3 minutes 32.94 seconds, after breaking from the pack at the final bell.

Asbel Kiprop of Kenya was second in 3:33.11.

Willis, 25, from Lower Hutt, was third in 3:34.16.

It is New Zealand's first medal in the 1500 metres since John Walker won gold in 1976 in Montreal.

New Zealand now has a total of eight medals: two gold, one silver and five bronze.

Praise from Snell

Praise for Willis has come from New Zealand's "athlete of the century", Peter Snell.

Snell describes the result as "stunning". He told Nine to Noon that the range of international competitors today makes the race very different from the ones he ran in during the 1960s.

For more details, go to Radio New Zealand's home page.