2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games: Tom Walsh

  • 21/03/2018
Tom Walsh
Shot putter Tom Walsh. Photo credit: Getty

Age: 26
Height: 1.85m
Weight: 120kg
Event: Shot put
Club: South Canterbury
Born: March 1, 1992
Personal Best: 22.31m (indoors), 22.21 (outdoors)
Coach: Dale Stevenson
Social links: @TomWalshSP (Twitter), @Tomwalshsp (Facebook)

Early in his shot put career, Walsh competed in the shadow of younger rival Jacko Gill, who broke a series of world age-group records as a teenager.

But as Gill’s career stalled in the senior ranks, Walsh went from strength to strength.

He won his first national title in 2012 and has defended that every year since. In 2013, he broke Gill’s national record with 20.61m and has added 1.7 metres over the subsequent five years, as he established himself as one of the world’s best performers.

A bronze medal at the 2014 world indoor championships lead to silver at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and then gold at the 2016 world indoors.

Later that same year, he was third at the Rio Olympics, but performed consistently enough over the season to capture the IAAF Diamond League title.

Last year saw Walsh upset American rival Ryan Crouser for his first world outdoor title and he has hit top form already this year, throwing a personal best 22,31 metres to defend his world indoor crown.

One of New Zealand’s great sporting characters, the Timaru builder was named 2017 NZ Sportsman of the Year and accepted his honour wearing a kilt.

He must be hot favourite to prevail on the Gold Coast, but must overcome Jamaican defending champion O’Dayne Richards, who recorded his 22.37 metres best last year.