14 Jun 2014

Willis runs personal best before Commonwealth Games

9:02 am on 14 June 2014

The New Zealand runner Nick Willis is in form ahead of next month's Glasgow Commonwealth Games after running his fastest-ever mile in Norway.

His personal best of three minutes 49.83 seconds was over a second quicker than his previous best set six years ago and was the fastest time by a New Zealander in more than 30 years, but was not enough to win the Bislett Games event.

The Beijing Olympics 1500 metres silver medallist finished second to Djibouti's Ayanleh Souleiman, who clocked 3:49.49.

Souleiman holds the fastest mile time in the world this year, 3:47.32, set two weeks ago in the United States.

Willis' effort is the seventh fastest time in the world this year, and closing in on John Walker's long-standing New Zealand record of 3:49.08, set at the Bislett Games 32 years ago.

Walker has the top five fastest times run by a New Zealander over the mile, with Willis's personal best now sixth on the list.

Compatriot Zane Robertson, who will run at Glasgow, finished 13th out of 20 starters in the 5000 metres at the same meeting.

His 13:27.09 was well off the pace of Ethiopia's Yenew Alamirew, who won in 13:01.57.