The 1,500 m was meant to be the race of the night on the last day of the athletics events at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. It was all set up to be a battle between New Zealand’s Nick Willis and the Australian favourite Craig Mottram, with England’s Nick McCormick an outsider. But it was another England athlete who was at the centre of night’s great theatre.
Willis won, giving his country its first major success at this event since the great days of John Walker, the 1976 Olympic champion. But he couldn’t have done so in more dramatic circumstances.