Tom Walsh has set his sights on bigger prizes after his breakthrough shot put bronze medal at the world indoor championships in Poland.
The shot put double for Walsh, 22, and women's gold medal winner Valerie Adams made the meet in Sopot the most successful for New Zealand at an indoor or outdoor world championships.
They finished 11th of 141 countries on the medal table while runners Zane Robertson (3000m) and Nick Willis (1500m) both reached finals.
Walsh's performance was the most surprising, at his first major international meet, heaving an Oceania indoor record throw of 21.26m to continue a remarkable climb since November.
The Christchurch builder says his result still seems "surreal" but he is determined to build on it in coming weeks as he targets a higher place on the podium at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow from late July.
Walsh will train in Melbourne for nearly two weeks ahead of the world challenge meet in that city on March 22.
A week later a likely showdown with two-time world junior champion Jacko Gill, 19, looms at the national championships in Wellington.
Walsh broke Gill's national outdoor record with a 20.45m effort in December and is intent on extending that distance this month.
"People have said winning the medal will change my life and I guess over time I might come to realise that," Walsh wrote in his New Zealand Olympic Committee blog.
"But there is no chance to rest and sit on my laurels."
He describes 10 days training with Adams and her coach Jean-Pierre Egger in Switzerland as the "final gloss" in his preparation, heaping most credit for his rapid gains on long-time coaches Ian Baird and Andrew McLennan.
Walsh says he still can't believe he relegated double Polish double Olympic champion Tomas Majewski to fourth place in front of his own expectant supporters.
"Tomasz was actually the first guy who came up to me to shake my hand afterwards which says a lot about the quality of the man," Walsh said.
"I really can't describe it. I came here for the experience and a top eight spot in my first major competition. It really is amazing."
source: newshub archive