Portland 2016 Indoor Shot put Champion Tomas Walsh has extended his dominance to the outdoors after upstaging an A-list field to become the first man from New Zealand to win the World title in the event at the IAAF World Championships.
It was not the kind of final many envisaged, but it definitely one worth remembering for Walsh who would be seeking to follow in the footsteps of his compatriot, Valerie Adams, who dominated the women’s Shot put for over a decade before taking time out after the Rio Olympics to start a family.
The 25-year old would relish his first World Championships (outdoor) GOLD medal, considering the calibre of throwers he defeated, including reigning Olympic Champion and World Leader Ryan Crouser who is 2nd on the all-time list with his monstrous throw of 22.65m set at the US Track and Field Championships earlier in the year.
Walsh, who is a Bronze medallist from the Rio Olympic Games, made a decent attempt of 21.38m on his first throw, and then extended it to 21.64m on his second. He subsequently threw 21.75m, 21.70m and 21.63m, before recording a throw 22.03m, making him the only man on the field to throw beyond 22m.
Defending champion Joe Kovacs could only come up with a best throw of 21.66m in 2nd place, while Stipe Zunic of Croatia was more than delighted with his Bronze medal which he secured with a mark of 21.46m.
Crouser, who has remained unbeaten this year, could not seem to conjure a throw befitting of his status as World Leader and would be wondering what went wrong on the day.
The former World Youth Champion finished outside the medals zone, placing 6th with a mark of 21.20m after fouling on his third and fourth attempts.
Meanwhile, Ekaterini Stefanidi claimed her first World Championships title after soaring to a World Lead (WL) of 4.91m to win the women’s Pole Vault title ahead of USA’s Sandi Morris who claimed Silver with her clearance of 4.75m.
Defending Champion, Cuba’s Yarisley Silva settled for joint Bronze with Venezuela’s Robeilys Peinado who set a National Record (NR) of 4.65m.
Rio 2016 GOLD medallist in the women’s Heptathlon Nafissatou Thiam extended her winning streak to top the standings of the event on Day 3 of the ongoing IAAF World Championships in London.
Despite finishing a distant 10th in her final event of the day, the 800m, the Belgian athlete had already established an unassailable lead and won the Heptathlon with a total of 6784 points which was way off her Personal Best (PB) of 7013 points set in Götzis in May.
Germany’s Carolin Schafer settled for Silver with 6696 points as Dutch athlete Anouk Vetter set an NR of 6636 points to clinch the Bronze medal. Cuba’s Yorgelis Rodriguez didn’t make the podium after finishing 4th with an NR of 6594 points.