24 Jan 2020

Walsh and Adams start their road to Tokyo

9:09 am on 24 January 2020

World shot put champions Tom Walsh and Dame Valerie Adams start their Olympic Games campaign at the annual Potts Classic meeting in Hastings on Saturday.

Dame Valerie Adams

Dame Valerie Adams Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Both athletes are strong contenders for Olympic medals in Tokyo this year, however most interest is in Adams who hasn't competed in almost two years.

Adams finished second at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, just six months after giving birth to her first child.

She then had her second child in March 2019.

Since then she helped her sister Lisa win gold at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships and has combined bring up two children with training.

Adams, 35, spent a month with former coach Jean-Pierre Egger in Switzerland just before Christmas.

She has won four world indoor and four world outdoor titles and won Olympic gold in 2008, 2012 and silver in 2016. If she qualifies Tokyo will be her fifth Olympics.

She posted about her pending return to the ring on Instagram.

The women's shot put at the Potts Classic has attracted a top class field which includes national champion and world junior champion Maddison-Lee Wesche, Torie Owers who was second at the New Zealand championships and Te Rina Keenan.

Adams has a couple of qualifying marks to achieve... she needs to throw 18.30 metres for the world indoor championships in China in March and 18.50 metres to qualify for Tokyo.

Meanwhile, Walsh he is keen to get back in the circle at the Potts Classic.

"It's a great little meet and a good chance to spin the wheels and see what happens. The real focus in the early part of this year is NZ Nationals to be held again in Christchurch in early March and then the week later the World Athletics World Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China.

I'm defending World Indoor Champ from Birmingham two years ago and Portland 2016 and while I know I've made gains, World Champs last year certainly showed how others have also made gains. I'm very keen to get back on top and make it three in a row for World Indoors. No one has ever done three in a row," says Walsh.

Tom Walsh


Interest will also centre on the men's 100m with Edward Osei-Nketia, Joseph Millar and Cody Wilson lining up against Hamish Gill, James Guthrie-Croft, national under 17 record holder Jacob Stockwell, Tommy Te Puni and Jordan Bolland.

Next weekend both Adams and Walsh along with Nick Willis and Angie Petty are expected to headline the Sir Graeme Douglas International in Auckland.