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Kiwi distance hope Willis out of Commonwealth Games

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Wellington (AFP)

New Zealand runner Nick Willis' hopes of further Commonwealth Games glory were dashed Monday when a leg injury forced him out of this year's event on Australia's Gold Coast.

Willis, 34, said he had a "stress reaction" in his fibula that would prevent him racing at the April 4-15 Games in Australia.

"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," he said in a statement.

Willis won 1500m gold in Melbourne 2006, as well as bronze in Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014.

He also won 1500m silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and bronze at the Rio Games last year.

While Willis was disappointed at the Commonwealth setback, he said injuries were "part and parcel of being a runner" and he was already eyeing an appearance at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

"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," he said.Nick Willis

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