Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Tom Walsh, Jacko Gill storm shot put field to claim gold, silver

Kiwi Tom Walsh has defended his shot put crown by claiming gold, while compatriot Jacko Gill clinched silver at the Commonwealth Games at Birmingham. 

Walsh's final throw of 22.26m was more than enough to secure the victory, as he coasted to another top-of-the-podium finish, with Gill's 21.90m far and away the best for second.

Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Tom Walsh, Jacko Gill storm shot put field to claim gold, silver

Walsh's win means New Zealand now have 17 gold medals and have matched their best ever efforts from the Auckland Games in 1990.

For Gill, it's his first major medal, after he was forced to pull out of the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast due to myocarditis.

His final throw, a personal best, went close to Walsh's first effort of 21.98, but that only brought out the best in his teammate, as he sealed the first-place finish with a 22.26m bomb.

Walsh admits he wished he didn't leave it so late to clinch the win, but was delighted to share the moment with Gill.

"I knew Jacko was in some pretty good form and I didn't put the competition to bed as early as I would have liked. To get hold of that last throw was cool, but the other throws were knocking at the door, so I'm really happy with the way I competed," he said.

"When Jacko put out his sixth round throw, I thought sh*t, he's got hold of one, I might be in a bit of trouble. I was lucky enough to have one up my sleeve.

"It is great for Jacko, great for shot put and athletics in New Zealand. Every year he is getting closer and it is going to be an interesting domestic season again next year."

Walsh becomes the second New Zealand man to win an athletics medals at three successive Commonwealth Games after silver in Glasgow 2014 and gold in Gold Coast four years ago.

Tom Walsh.
Tom Walsh. Photo credit: Getty Images

He is grateful to still be performing at such a high level, and admits the many years competing has given him greater perspective.

"To win here I think you realise how hard it is, how much goes into it all coming together. I have gratitude that I am here, physically and mentally in really good nick. I appreciate that a lot more as I get older and wiser," he said.

Meanwhile, Gill needed just one throw to move into the silver medal, a position he never let up, and pushed Walsh for gold with his final throw.

He was delighted with his second-place finish and has labelled it as one of his greatest achievements, following a tough last few years.

"It's probably one of the best moments of my career. To come back from the heart issues has been huge, a really big battle. I lost 25-30kg after my heart issues and I missed the last Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, so to come back here and set a PB means a lot," he said.

"It's been a long process and to come back after such a long break was really hard. My parents have been a huge support and getting help from Dale [Stevenson] has been awesome.

"I thought my last throw was really good, and I thought I had a 20 per cent chance, so I was a little bit disappointed.

"But to win silver gives me huge confidence. I have been in great form, so to finally put one out there it is really nice."

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