7 Aug 2017

Walsh takes shot put gold at world champs

10:49 am on 7 August 2017

Timaru shot-putter Tom Walsh has won the gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in London.

Tom Walsh celebrates his world championship success.

Tom Walsh celebrates his world championship success, which is the first ever for a New Zealander in the men's shot put. Photo: Photosport

Walsh threw a best of 22.03m with his last throw. He finished 37cm ahead of American Joe Kovacs, while Olympic champion Ryan Crouser of the United States was fifth.

"Hell of a competition out there. It was awesome. It's something I've always dreamed about, being a world champion," the New Zealander said.

Athletics New Zealand communications manager Brett Addison told Morning Report it was New Zealand's first ever gold for men's shot put at the world champs.

Kovacs appeared to have snatched the lead off Walsh with his final throw but it was ruled a foul, much to Kovacs' displeasure.

His foot was ruled to have touched the top of the throwing circle.

Kovacs lodged a protest, but international media reported it had been dismissed.

Tom Walsh on his way to winning world championship gold.

Walsh during the qualifying stage at the world champs late last week in London Photo: Photosport

Walsh led all six rounds and had the gold wrapped up before the final throw, making it quite a comfortable win, Mr Addison said.

"To become the world champion - it's certainly the best achievement of his career to date, and he certainly did it in style today."

Val Adams congratulates Tom Walsh on social media.

Dame Valerie Adams - a four-time world champion - congratulates Tom Walsh on social media. Photo: Twitter

Auckland's Jacko Gill finished ninth.

Walsh won bronze at the Rio Olympics last year and is the current world indoor champion.

Walsh has a personal best of 22.21m.

Olympic bronze medallist Eliza McCartney, who also represented New Zealand in London, finished ninth in the pole vault.

The 20-year-old failed with her three attempts at 4.65m, having previously cleared 4.45m and 4.55m.

She hurt her Achilles tendon before the tournament, which had affected her preparation, and was well off her personal best of 4.82m.

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