8 Aug 2017

World champ Walsh wears gold in London

7:17 am on 8 August 2017

The Canterbury shot-putter Tom Walsh has received his world athletics gold medal in London this morning

Tom Walsh shot put world champion.

Tom Walsh shot put world champion. Photo: Photosport

The 25 year old became the first New Zealand male athlete to win a title at the world track and field championships when he took the shotput competition at the London stadium yesterday.

He returned to the event today for the medal ceremony.

"It feels pretty good, that's exactly what we came here to do was to win and to do that and to throw so well through the whole comp it's something pretty special," said Walsh.

"It is pay back for all the time and effort the team behind me have put in."

Walsh threw 22.03m to finish 37cm ahead of American Joe Kovacs - the defending world champion and Olympic silver medallist.

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

He appealed the decision, and Walsh was made to wait almost two hours before learning the appeal had been rejected and he officially remained the winner.

Walsh acknowledged he was lucky a last minute injury didn't derail his performance in the London stadium.

"There's been a lot of treatment in the groin area in the last few days, I tweaked the adductor a little bit during the last throws session before the championship."

"I thought I've come all this way and even if I've got an injury I'm going to go for it. If it's going to hurt it's going to hurt, if it doesn't it doesn't," he said.

Meanwhile the Bay of Plenty sprinter Joseph Millar has failed to progress from the heats of the 200 metres at the World Athletics Championships in London.

Millar finished 6th in his heat with a time of 20 point 97 seconds, just over half a second outside his best.

The first three from the seven heats plus the next three fastest qualified for the semi-finals.

Millar finished fifth in his heat of the 100 metres earlier in the competition.