21 Aug 2008

Bronze for Nick Willis in the 1500

5:14 am on 21 August 2008

Nick Willis has finished third in the Olympic 1500 metres final to claim New Zealand's first medal in the event since John Walker won gold at Montreal in 1976.

Willis finished behind Bahrain's Rashid Ramzi and the Kenyan Asbel Kiprop.

It's New Zealand's third bronze medal in the 1500, after John Davies in Tokyo in 1964 when Peter Snell won, and Rod Dixon in Munich in 1972.

Morocco-born Ramzi, the 2005 world champion, made his move to win in three minutes 32.94 seconds after a blazing 51-second final lap.

Kiprop was not far behind in 3:33.11 but could not make up any of his deficit on the final sprint. Willis clocked 3:34.16.