News & Updates

27 August 2023 • Track and Field

Wesche sets a lifetime best to finish seventh in shot final

Maddi Wesche produced the best performance of her career at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest. Credit: (Michael Dawson)

Maddi Wesche climaxed the New Zealand challenge at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest on a high as she unleashed a lifetime best throw of 19.51m to finish an excellent seventh at her second successive World Athletics Championships.

After squeezing into the final in the 12th and last qualification berth earlier in the day, the 24-year-old Aucklander made the most of the opportunity to deliver the finest series of her career.

Opening her competition with a steady 18.81m the Kiwi sat seventh after round one but faced huge pressure on her third throw after she was shunted down to tenth following a second round foul.

Yet Wesche, regarded as one of New Zealand’s coolest and calmest championship performers, withstood any pressure she may have been feeling to fire out the metal orb to 19.47m in round three – within 3cm of her PB set at the 2022 World Athletics Championships – to catapult herself to sixth in the overall standings.

Wesche then backed up her fantastic third round toss with a 19.41m throw in round four before executing her best of the competition in round five. The 24-year-old Aucklander was initially registered with a foul in the results, but this was later changed to a 19.51m – 1cm in excess of her previous best set at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene.     

The Commonwealth bronze medallist concluded her competition with a final round foul. She achieved the same best mark of 19.51m as Maggie Ewen – however, the American had a second best of 19.49m – superior to Wesche – and was awarded sixth.

Ewen’s countrywoman Chase Ealey with a season’s best of 20.43m successfully defended her world title ahead of Commonwealth champion Sarah Mitton of Canada (20.08m), who secured silver. Lijiao Gong achieved a record-breaking eighth successive World Championship medal, courtesy of a 19.69m effort to claim bronze.

Wesche said: “I’m super proud of my result. I’m happy with a personal best. I always want for more distance but it’s the name of the game and can’t complain right now.

“The plan was to build on my throws from the qualifier and to add intensity, so I accomplished that. I thought there was a lot more in the tank and I didn’t quite connect tonight unfortunately.

“I’m really confident leading into Paris (2024 Olympics). There is thankfully still a bit of time to head home and make more gains, so I’m looking forward to that.”

For Wesche this was a third successive top eight finish at a global championship after the Kiwi finished sixth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

*Follow timetable/results here