Shot-putter Tom Walsh wins at Doha Diamond League

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Sat, 29 May 2021, 4:09PM
Kiwi shot-putter Tom Walsh. (Photo / Photosport)
Kiwi shot-putter Tom Walsh. (Photo / Photosport)

Shot-putter Tom Walsh wins at Doha Diamond League

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Sat, 29 May 2021, 4:09PM

Tom Walsh has earned a confidence boost on the road to the Tokyo Olympics after winning the men's shot put at the latest Diamond League event in Doha.

In just his second meet from an 18-month international lay-off, the former world champion has managed a best heave of 21.63 in his last throw of the final three to win by 74cm.

Walsh's best throw was .01cm longer than his best two weeks ago in Arizona when that effort earned him fourth place.

This week Walsh - wearing a uniform asking for sponsorship that read "Space for Rent" on the front – benefitted from the event format, which saw him win a throw-off between the top three putters which included Serbia's Armin Sinancevic who had earlier posted the longest throw of the day at 21.88m.

However, Sinancevic fouled out in the throw-off and was officially classified in third place.

This weekend's event in Doha is just the second Walsh has been able to compete at in the past 18 months because of Covid-19 and he says he's still in the process of rediscovering his world-conquering form.

"All of a sudden, I'd just been given the keys to a brand new sports car, and I didn't know how to drive it because it had too much horsepower. So now it's just a matter of straightening it up and getting the wheels not spinning and actually holding onto the turf and gripping," Walsh told Newstalk ZB.

Despite the battle, Walsh is keen to squash any talk he'll be off his game come the Tokyo Olympics, with the final still two months away.

"It's just really about being patient, and remembering what's worked in the past and how we can get it all going right. It's not technical or anything like that. It's just timing and sometimes that takes a training session to come, sometimes it's more. So it's just staying true to what you're working on and not getting lost going down different rabbit holes.

"I've got the horsepower, there's no doubt about that. It's just about getting more of that horsepower into the shot.

"If I want to be the best thrower in the world, it's not necessarily doing something new every time, it's just a matter of being better at what you did before.

"The mental side of it was great at Tucson considering I've been out of the game for so long. I looked after my nerves and thoughts well. Considering I've flown all over the world though, the body is good."