Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Jacko Gill rewarded with shot put silver after long road back from heart issues

Kiwi shot putters Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill claimed an impressive one-two on the podium at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in a historic first for New Zealand.

It's familiar territory for Walsh but for Gill it's his first major medal at an international event.

And he needed a little help from family, and a foe.

Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill.
Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

The two Kiwis took their shot, and put themselves in the history books with a gold and silver moment New Zealand has never had before. 

"It felt so good," 27-year-old Gill said. "I was stoked."

"Awesome to have two of us on the podium - let alone side by side," added Walsh.

A Kiwi one-two, and a maiden major medal for Gill.

"I never really dreamed of this happening," he said. "It's amazing, the crowd's huge. It's crazy. I don't know what to say."

Because the last few years have been anything but dreamy - he missed the last Commonwealth Games completely.

"I've just come back from heart stuff. [It's] been huge and been a big battle.

"I lost 25-30kg in hospital after my heart issues."

Jacko Gill and Tom Walsh.
Jacko Gill and Tom Walsh. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

It's his family who's helped get him back to the big stage. His mum, in particular. 

"Mum's come to coach me, so it's really nice to have her there in the stands and so nice to share this moment with her."

"We're just all over the moon," Nerida Gill said. "[I] couldn't believe it's come true, that PB."

That PB? A whopping 21.9 metre throw for Gill. More than a metre further than the bronze medallist who had home advantage - kind of.

Gill shared the podium with Englishman Scott Lincoln, and that's not all they shared.

"Jacko's in really good shape," Lincoln said. "He's been training with me at my house this week a little bit.

"Maybe [I'll] not let him next time," he joked.

But the Kiwis were in a league of their own. Gill closed the gap to just 8cm before Walsh went full champion with his final throw.

"Took him bloody six rounds to get hold of one," Walsh said.

"I thought it was really close, maybe 20 percent chance," added Gill.

And how likely these two will battle again - 100 percent Kiwi. 

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