Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Tom Walsh (Athletics)

  • 01/01/2022

Tom Walsh

Age: 30

Height: 1.85m 

Event: Shot Put

Personal Best: 22.90m (NZ & Oceania record)

Born: March 1, 1992 at Timaru

Coach: Hayden Hall

Previous Commonwealth Games: Glasgow 2014 (silver), Gold Coast 2018 (gold) 

New Zealand's most successful male shot putter heads to Birmingham as defending champion, after securing his second consecutive Olympic bronze at Tokyo last year.

Walsh is the current New Zealand recordholder, both outdoors and indoors, with his personal best of 22.90m not only an Oceania record, but placing him sixth all-time. 

After a successful junior career where he broke New Zealand records, he won his first senior title in 2012, before claiming the NZ record in 2013 with a throw of 20.61m. 

Walsh made an incredible debut at his first senior international competition, with a bronze medal at the 2014 world indoor championships. He set an indoor national record in qualifying, beating it three times in the final to also claim the Oceania indoor mark. 

After consistently improving his national record, Walsh recorded a second-place finish at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, only beaten by Jamician O'Dayne Richards. 

The 29-year-old finished 2015 in style to win his first Diamond League meet with a throw of 21.39m in Brussels.

Tom Walsh wins gold at Gold Coast 201
Tom Walsh wins gold at Gold Coast 2018. Photo credit: Photosport

He started the year on fire, winning the world indoor championships, and breaking the NZ national and Oceania record in the process, before going on to claim a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics.

Walsh retained his indoor world title with a personal best throw of 22.31m, which moved him into the top-10 all-time. 

At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Walsh threw a new Games record in qualifying, before convincingly claiming gold in the final. 

At Tokyo, he barely qualified, needing a third-round foul overturned to progress to the final, where the three medallists duplicated their podium finish of four years earlier.

His 22.31m season best ranks him third in the world for 2022, with his nearest Commonwealth rival being countryman Jacko Gill (21.21m).