5 Mar 2018

Injury forces Willis out of Comm Games

11:11 am on 5 March 2018

Leading Commonwealth Games medal contender middle distance runner Nick Willis has pulled out of the New Zealand team for Gold Coast because of injury.

Willis, 34, suffered a stress fracture in his lower leg five weeks ago and while he has been on the mend and doing a range of cross training activities he's been unable to resume running.

Nick Willis competing at the 2017 world champs in London.

Nick Willis competing at the 2017 world champs in London. Photo: Photosport

"I had hoped that I would only miss four weeks of training, but that was really a best case scenario," said Willis.

"I am still at least two weeks out from being able to run again, so the decision not to compete at the games has been made for me by my leg, it's not even an option sadly.

"I would have loved to have worn the black singlet on Australian soil, like I did in Melbourne back in 2006, but injuries are part and parcel with being a runner."

Willis, has enjoyed plenty of Commonwealth Games success previously.

He won gold in the 1500m Melbourne 2006, bronze in Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014.

The Michigan-based runner also has two Olympic 1500m medals, silver from Beijing 2008 and bronze from Rio 2016.

"The goal now is to prepare for Tokyo 2020, and take every necessary measure to make sure I am healthy for another shot at the Olympic podium," added Willis.