Tokyo Olympics: Kiwi runner Nick Willis sneaks in for historic Olympics bid after nervous wait

  • 02/07/2021

Kiwi long distance runner Nick Willis will claim a special spot in NZ sports history, after qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics later this month - just.

The 38-year-old has secured the 45th and final spot in the 1500m field, where he'll become the only Kiwi male athletics competitor to have appeared at five Olympics.

Fellow athlete Dame Valerie Adams will also be attending her fifth Olympics when she takes the shot put circle in Japan.

It's been an anxious wait for Willis who, although he'd been named in the NZ team, had very limited opportunities on offer to meet the Olympic qualification time in the US, where he lives and works.

With that qualifying period now officially over, his No. 45 world ranking has been enough to book him a place as one of two NZ competitors in the event alongside Sam Tanner.

The US-based Wellingtonian will be looking to add to the silver medal he won at Beijing 2008 and his bronze from Rio 2016 in what will likely be his Olympic swansong.