World champion shot putter Tom Walsh has crashed to a rare home defeat, offering no excuses for his embarrassing performance at the Sir Graeme Douglas International Track Challenge.
Twelve months after hurling a massive 22.67m national record at the same event, Walsh was almost two metres short of that and had to settle for second in west Auckland, finishing behind Poland's Konrad Bukowiecki.
Bukowiecki, the 2014 world junior champion, won the meet with a 21.32m heave on his fifth attempt, well ahead of Walsh, whose best effort was 20.84m on his final throw..
Fellow Kiwi Jacko Gill finished third, 8cm behind Walsh with a 20.76m throw.
A frustrated Walsh, 27, who will attempt to defend his world outdoor title later this year, described the performance as "not good enough".
"I pride myself on being a world-class competitor and throwing well no matter where it is," he said. "I just didn't line things up tonight, so I've got stuff to work on.
"My technique wasn't good enough, my mental game wasn't good enough and I wasn't good enough tonight.
"Losing in New Zealand is not good for me either. I don't bring these guys down here to beat me, that's for sure.
"The reason I'm so frustrated is I had so much juice in the tank. I should have thrown a lot further - It would be different if I went in there under a heavy load and threw 20.80.
Gill was much happier with his result - his second world-championship qualifying performance this month, after a year on the sidelines, recovering from a heart condition and torn pectoral muscle.
World junior champion Maddison-Lee Wesche continued her emergence as New Zealand's next big shot-put hope, smashing her personal best by more than a metre to qualify for the senior world championships with 18.32m.
Her series included two other throws further than her previous best and promoted her to second in the NZ all-time rankings, behind two-time Olympic champion Dame Valerie Adams.