2 Aug 2021

Shot putter Maddi Wesche cool in shades at Olympics

From Checkpoint, 5:26 pm on 2 August 2021

With a future so bright she may need to keep wearing her shades, shot putter Maddison-Lee Wesche placed sixth in her final on Sunday at the Tokyo Olympics. She also delivered a personal best of 18.98 metres.

The 22 -year-old Aucklander threw on a pair of sunglasses for her third throw in the shot put final and appeared to be cool as a cucumber.

"That was the plan," she told Checkpoint. "My team and I, we talked about our game plan before going in and one of the main points was staying relaxed, staying happy and just flowing in the circle.

"It takes a bit of practice to get there, but we've done some comps in Aussie beforehand and that was the same mentality going in. And that worked. I got some PBs [personal bests] over there as well."

She thinks her sunglasses may be her lucky charm. "An essential part of the comp kit. I train with them most times that I'm throwing, because it's pretty sunny in Auckland most of the time, but maybe they're a bit of a comfort thing for me."

In Tokyo after Wesche's first throw she realised the woman before her had knocked her out of eighth place. That was when Wesche thought, "it's go time". And on went the sunglasses.

"Maybe it took me back to feeling a little bit like I was at home and at a training with my mum and sisters, and both my coaches around. So it was a little bit getting in that zone.

"Mum and my three sisters and my grandparents were at home watching. I know they were screaming at the TV and telling me to throw the shot back all the way to NZ."

Wesche said it was a crazy experience to see Dame Valerie Adams throw her bronze medal shot right before her.

"It's kind of surreal and really special that I was able to be, not only in Tokyo, but out on the field to to see her throw the bronze medal shot."

Wesche hasn't had a break from training for about two years. She said she will now take a little break and get back to throwing.

"I'll take a couple weeks off… Maybe one or two, but I love throwing too much to stop."