Above: Quentin Rew in action during the 20km race walk at the World Championships in Beijing (Photo by David Tarbotton/Athletics Australia)
New Zealand has two athletes in the final of the shot put at the World Championships in Athletics. Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill both advance to the final for the top 12 competitors out of a field of 31 after the this morning’s qualifying rounds. Walsh ranked seventh with 20.49m and Gill provided some nail biting moments as he just sneaked in as the 12th best performance with 19.94m.
Joe Kovacs of USA was the top qualifier with 21.36m with David Storl of Germany out to 21.26m as the only two over 21 metres.
Although safely in the final Walsh was not happy with his efforts.
“Well I didn’t really get any of the throws at all, that’s just the way it is, But I’m through that’s the main thing, just over rotating at little bit, and that’s pretty much the only problem but I’m sure this afternoon will be fine as I always throw better in the afternoon,” he said.
Gill was a little surprised to make the final by just 5 centimetres.
“I’m really happy I’m pretty lucky. I didn’t hit any of my three throws, but happy with the distances to get them and of course I wanted more and I’ve got nothing to lose in the final.
It was a big turn-around for the 20 year old since his disappointment at last year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
“I’ve come a long way since last year,” he said.
The final will take place on Sunday evening starting at 11.30pm NZ time.
Earlier in the day Quentin Rew walked his way to 18th place in the 20km race walk. He maintained a consistent pace throughout to finish in 1:22:18, just seven seconds outside his personal best of 1:22:11 set in Melbourne in December last year.
Rew described his performance as alright.
“It was alright, it was just a bit frustrating, I started picking up cards in the middle of the race so I kind of had to pull back a little bit and I kind of got to the last 5km and felt I had a bit more in the tank and just a bit too much to do, so just a little bit disappointing to be honest,” he said.
He had prepared pretty well for the heat which was 23 degrees at the start and climbed throughout the event.
“It got pretty warm and it was coming off the road at the end as well, and it is what it is, the same for everyone.”
Rew will compete in the 50km race walk in a week’s time.
“It’s okay looking towards the 50km race walk, 50k’s is definitely my stronger event, and things are looking okay for that,” he added.
Portia Bing was down on her best of 6.21m in the long jump, the fifth event in the heptathlon. Bing only managed one qualifying jump in her three attempts of 5.95m, which was 23rd out of the 33 still in the event. This gave her 834 points and a total of 4597, dropping her from eighth at the end of the first day of competition to 13th.
From Murray McKinnon in Beijing