Above: Tom Walsh finishing second in the IAAF London Diamond League shot put. Photo by Getty Images.
Shot putter Tom Walsh lead the Kiwi performances with a second place at the IAAF London Diamond League meeting while pole vaulter Eliza McCartney also got on the podium and on the track Angie Petty ran a solid 800m race.
Walsh’s best came in the second round of the stacked shot put competition, throwing 21.54, the fourth longest throw of his career. He held the lead until the fifth round when current world champion Joe Kovacs from USA threw 22.04 to win the competition and take maximum Diamond League points.
The world indoor champion from Canterbury also backed up with throws of 21.38 and 21.01 for a very good series, representing an excellent preparation for Walsh’s Olympic campaign in Rio.
Behind Walsh was 2011 and 2013 World Champion David Storl of Germany on 21.39, Darrell Hill from USA on 21.24 and defending Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski from Poland with a distant 20.33.
Walsh now sits in a clear second place on the overall Diamond League shot put table with 28 points, six behind Kovacs, but 16 points clear of third.
Eliza McCartney, after early jitters, cleared 4.62 for third place in a very competitive women’s pole vault field. The 19 year old Aucklander needed all of her three attempts at 4.62 before making a good clearance, but could not scale the next height of 4.72.
The winner of the event was Greece’s Katerina Stefanidi at 4.80 while Yarisley Silva from Cuba, the current world champion placed second with 4.72.
McCartney now moves up to seventh on the Diamond League pole vault table and her next competition will likely be the qualifying round of the Olympics Games on 17 August.
Angie Petty, running in the 800m, finished in sixth place after looking like a podium placing was possible with 100 metres to run. A satisfying 2:00.92 is the second fastest time of her European campaign for 2016. The Canterbury athlete will start her Olympic action in the heats of the 800m on 18 August.