6 Sep 2019

Tom Walsh does it again, makes history

8:02 am on 6 September 2019

New Zealand shot-putter Tom Walsh has become the first man in history to defend the Diamond League shot put title and says he wants to be the first to do a lot of things.

Tom Walsh in the Shot Put

Tom Walsh Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The reigning world champion has won the season finale in Brussels with a throw of 22.30 metres in his first attempt.

Walsh recorded a further two heaves in excess of 22 metres and finished 15 centimetres clear of Brazil's Darlan Romani, with Olympic champion Ryan Crouser of America third, a further seven centimetres back.

Walsh picks up $62,000 NZ dollars for his efforts.

It continues an excellent run of form for Walsh after he collected the title at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Zagreb earlier this week.

He threw over 22 metres four times to win in Paris nearly two weeks ago.

Walsh, who has now thrown beyond 22 metres in six of his eight most recent competitions, said he had never been this consistent.

"And I'm doing it multiple times in competitions at the moment so I'm in a great spot and hopefully these next two or three weeks I can keep building and keep nailing my technical things well and get one a bit further out there at World Champs."

Walsh said he had reached a point in his career where he knows what works for him.

"There's no doubt the team and I understand where I need to be to throw far and I know what it takes now more and more too. The maturity thing definitely has a big part of it and also it's just another year of training under my belt too."

Walsh believes he's got a big throw left in him this year.

"Maybe I'm saving it for the right time which is in three weeks time. But the consistency definitely helps things, it helps with my confidence, it helps with my belief that we've all been doing the right things."

Walsh has set himself a lofty goal of breaking the 30-year-old world record with a throw of 24 metres over the next year.

"I want to be the first man in history to do a lot of things and it's just another one to kind of tick the box and move on and make sure I've got to stay hungry and keep trying to achieve these goals that me and my team have set for us to achieve. At the moment we're doing the right things and we're getting closer and closer to them."

The world record of 23.12 metres was set by American Randy Barnes in 1990.

The South Canterbury builder will now turn his attentions to defending his world title at the World Championships in Doha next month.

Walsh said his big focus was the World Champs in Doha next month.

"If I can nail that I know I'll be in good shape for the Olympics next year. But after the World Champs there's also World Indoors [in China, March 2020] which I've got to go and defend my title there too so they're all great competitions to test yourself - throw against the best guys in the world and beat them."