Athletics: Gills celebrate Maddison Wesche's shot put heroics at world championships

Dame Valerie Adams, Jacko Gill and now add Maddison Wesche to the list of shot put under-20 world champions.

The Kiwi shot putter was flying the New Zealand flag on Thursday (NZ time), topping the podium in Tampere, Finland.

"My hearts still beating, I'm pretty speechless at the moment," Wesche said after securing first place.

Wesche left her best until last, throwing 17.09m to claim gold.

"It means everything. I've been working for the last two years for this and everything is falling into place right now."

This is the fourth time New Zealand has won shot put gold at the biannual competition, following Dame Valerie's efforts in 2002, and Jacko Gill's back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2012.

Wesche is a protégé of Gill's father, Walter, who's coached her since she was 12 years old.

Both father and son were up in the early hours of Thursday morning to witness her heroics.

"She rang me and she was absolutely bubbling," said Gill Senior. "The family was screaming in the background - it was a scene from heaven.

"I would have been happy with a bronze. Just to medal at the world champs is huge."

New Zealand continues to punch above its weight in the athletics world, which, in Jacko's case, is defined by old-fashioned hard yakka on the building site.

"It's a stepping stone," he told Newshub. "It means you can break the world record.

"It means you can go on to win world championships. It means anything. 

"It means she's extremely talented and will go on to big things. Nothing can stop her now."