Above: Tom Walsh in action at Diamond League Lausanne, where he claimed victory.
World Champion Tom Walsh is gearing up for another Diamond League final, looking to add the title to his World Indoor and World Outdoor trophies. Walsh was the winner of the season long Diamond Race in 2016, before the format was changed to a winner takes all final last year. The Diamond League Finals take place in two cities over two nights, with Walsh in action on night one (tomorrow morning NZ time) in Zurich. The finals bring together the best performers over the Diamond League season with US$100,000 per event on the line including US$50,000 for the winner.
Men’s Shot Put competition has been particularly strong this year, with three athletes going over the 22.00m mark and some surprise competition results. The two heavy favourites however are Walsh and American Ryan Crouser, both recording two Diamond League wins each this year and consistently bettering 22.00m along the way. Walsh’s 22.67m Area Record set in Auckland remains the best throw of the year but could be under threat if either athlete fires in Zurich.
For Walsh it has been a long Northern Hemisphere campaign, with regular events in Europe and North America since May. The Diamond League title is clearly a major target for the year, not least because of the financial reward that comes with it. His campaign will continue a few more weeks, with the Continental Cup taking place in Ostrava, Czech Republic next month.
Walsh is the sole kiwi in action in the finals, with Eliza McCartney withdrawing from the women’s pole vault due to an injury suffered in her last outing in Birmingham.
Weltklasse Zurich Diamond League Final is live on Sky Sport 1 from 6:00am Friday 31 August.