Above: Tom Walsh setting a championship record of 22.31 to win World Indoor Championships title. Photo by Michael Steele / Getty Images.
Tom Walsh has confirmed his place on the top of the shot putting world after retaining his World Indoor Championships title with a masterclass at the 2018 Indoor Championships in Birmingham in the early hours of Sunday morning (NZ time).
The Kiwi threw 22.13m twice in the early rounds and then with the title in the bag came up with a massive 22.31m on his final attempt to set a championship record, and Oceania record and a New Zealand record.
Walsh retained his World Indoor title won in 2016 in Portland, USA with such a dominant performance that in the highest quality indoor shot put competition ever held, he won by the huge margin of 0.87m, almost identical to his winning margin of 0.89m two years ago.
Seven athletes were over 21.00m in the contest, the most ever for an indoor shot put competition.
Walsh’s throw, just two days after his 26th birthday, added 0.10m to his NZ and Oceania record and was 0.07m further than the previous championship record of 22.24set by East German Ulf Timmermann 31 years ago in 1987.
The victory means Walsh has won the last three world shot put titles contested – the 2016 Indoor, 2017 Outdoor and 2018 Indoor Championships, proving his temperament at the major championships and will head into the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games as hot favourite.
Between them Dame Valerie Adams and Walsh have taken out six World Indoor Championship victories since 2008.
Walsh will battle it out with five of the top 16 in Birmingham in Athletics NZ’s International meetings in Timaru, Christchurch and Waitakere in late March before he heads to the Gold Coast in April.