Walsh smashes records and move up world all-time list
The 26 year old from Geraldine pushed out the incredible throw on his second round attempt to astound the knowledgeable crowd of track fans and blow apart the field of international shot putters assembled for Athletics New Zealand’s 2018 International Series.
Walsh’s throw not only improved his personal best by 0.36m – it also improved the NZ National, Resident and All-comers records along with the Oceania record.
Second place in the competition went to American Ryan Whiting with a respectable 20.99m, 1.68m adrift of the Kiwi with Konrad Bukowiecki (Poland) third on 20.75m.
The big throw at Douglas Track & Field in Henderson ranks Walsh sixth equal on the on the all-time world shot put list and is the longest throw in the world since 2003.
Walsh’s best now lies just 45cm short of the world record of 23.12m set by Randy Barnes (USA) who was later given a life ban for two doping offences.
Dame Valerie Adams improved again to post a best of 18.48m in the women’s shot put, the same distance as Canadian Brittany Crew, but winning the completion with a superior second best throw (18.30 to 18.24).
The throw signals further improvement for the double Olympic and triple Commonwealth Champion in her third competition back after an 18 month break which included the birth of her daughter five months ago.
Adams now looks forward to her fifth Commonwealth Games and vows to do her best to medal yet again.
Finishing in third place was Tori Owers of Canterbury with a season’s best of 17.01m, happy to finish her season on a high.
Pole vaulter Eliza McCartney now sets herself such high standards, that she was slightly disappointed with her winning height of 4.75m despite it being just 0.07m short of her best and attempting what would have been a national record and personal best 4.85m.
The 21 year old from Devonport now heads to the Gold Coast in very good heart to try to collect gold in her first attempt at the Commonwealth Games.
Young vaulter Imogen Ayris moved her personal best up to 4.20m to improve her chances at the 2018 World Junior Championships later this year.
Nick Southgate won a close battle with Canadian vaulter Deryk Theodore, both clearing 5.28m but the Gold Coast-bound Aucklander taking the win with fewer failures.
On the track, Joseph Millar was again frustrated with head winds but came out on top, winning the men’s 100m and 200m races handsomely.
Guernsey international Cameron Chalmers took the win in the men’s 400m over Kiwi training partner Cameron French while Sam Petty ran a tenacious 800m to take first place.
The Sir John Walker Junior mile went to the son of ones of Walkers adversaries, Theo Quax in a personal best of 4:08.16, ahead fellow Aucklander James Uhlenberg and Benjamin Wall from Manawatu Whanganui.
The meeting was the final event in the Athletics NZ International Series and brings down the curtain on the senior domestic summer track and field season.
Eighteen athletes will go on to compete at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.