Above: Tom Walsh needed just one throw to break the Commonwealth Games record and advance straight to the final. Photo by Alisha Lovrich / Temposhot.
Tom Walsh made it look so easy as he convincingly qualified for the final of the shot put, only needing one attempt which he sent out to his second best ever throw and Games record of 22.45m.
Needing only 19 metres to automatically qualify Walsh, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi of Nigeria with 20.66m and Damien Birkinhead of Australia with 20.47m were the only competitors over 20 metres.
He was just 22cm short of his New Zealand, Oceania and Commonwealth record of 22.67m set in Henderson last month.
Walsh rued his failure to strike gold at the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where he threw a Games record of 21.24m in qualifying only to be beaten by O’Dayne Richards of Jamaica who extended the record to 21.61m to Walsh’s silver medal performance of 21.19m.
“The last time I did that four years ago, I got beaten in the final so hopefully it doesn’t go anything like that tomorrow.
“I feel really good, 22.45m, there’s probably 10 guys in the world that have thrown that ever so it’s pretty good.
“I was easy mate. I’ll prepare for the final now with food, sleep maybe some Netflix and that’s about it,” said Walsh.
“I’m very confident, I’m not here to get second that’s for sure, I’m pretty happy with that, it felt easy there’s more in the tank,” he added before disappearing for a warm down.
Athletics New Zealand Correspondent