Above: Tom Walsh mobbed by fans after winning the Timaru Super Shot in his home town.
Timaru came out to support Tom Walsh in big numbers at the Timaru Super Shot on Wednesday evening and he didn’t disappoint, easily winning the first of a series of three competitions in an exciting contest at the Caroline Bay Soundshell.
Going straight to the lead with his first throw of 21.35m to the noisy support from the big crowd – no-one else got close to that distance - the hometown hero went on to toss the 7.26kg shot out to 22.06m on his second attempt, further than his NZ resident record of 21.80 set in Auckland in February last year and just 0.09m short of Ryan Crouser’s NZ allcomer’s record at the same meeting.
The 26 year old World Champion (both indoor and outdoor) went on the record two more throws over 21.00m and a couple of fouls which looked just as far.
It was Walsh’s first competition in Timaru since 2012 and the big local crowd were happy to see him in action in the best form of his life, just over two weeks after he won the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham with a Championship and National record of 22.31m.
Finishing second in Timaru was Canadian Tim Nedow (third at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games) on 20.77m and third went to Australian record holder Damien Birkinhead on 20.75m.
Behind them were former double world indoor champion, Ryan Whiting from USA, 2014 Glasgow champion O’Dayne Richards (Jamaica) and 2016 World Junior champion Konrad Bukowiecki (Poland).
The women’s event was won by Canadian Brittany Crew with a best throw of 17.89m from compatriot Taryn Suttie (16.99m) and Brittany Smith (USA) with 16.04m.
Kiwis Tori Owers, Jayden Busch and Lauren Bruce filled the next three placings with 16 year old Busch setting a new personal best.
The athletes now head to Christchurch to compete in The Big Shot on Friday evening where double Olympic Champion Dame Valerie Adams will join the women’s field to take on the North Americans including the two Canadians that Dame Valerie will meet at the Commonwealth Games in April.
The final meeting of the series will be the Sir Graham Douglas International Track Challenge on Sunday 25 March at the Trusts Stadium in Waitakere.
1 Tom Walsh NZL 22.06
2 Tim Nedow CAN 20.77
3 Damien Birkinhead AUS 20.75
4 Ryan Whiting USA 20.54
5 O'Dayne Richards JAM 20.49
6 Konrad Bukowiecki POL 20.19
1 Brittany Crew CAN 17.89
2 Taryn Suttie CAN 16.99
3 Brittany Smith USA 16.04
4 Victoria Owers NZL 15.70
5 Jayden Busch NZL 13.34
6 Lauren Bruce NZL 13.23