Tokyo Olympics: Frustrated shot-putter Tom Walsh forced to reassess after 'punch in the gut'

Track and field athletes could be forced to choose between the Commonwealth Games and the 2022 world athletics championships, after the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics.

That's just one more issue to deal with for champion shot-putter Tom Walsh, who's had to re-shape his journey to Olympic glory.

If bronze at the Rio Games was Walsh's breakthrough moment, then Tokyo 2020 was likely to be the world No.1's shot at gold.

"It was a little bit of a punch in the gut, but it's the right decision," Walsh told Newshub.

Two weeks ago, Walsh was hoping to defend his world indoor title, now he's just grateful to have a shot-put circle in his 'bubble'.

"I do this sport to compete against the best in the world, when I'm fresh, when I'm in good shape, and to have that taken away is a bit frustrating." 

With a major event all but off the cards this year, Walsh is desperately trying to find a solution and admits the sudden hit to his structured daily routine has been tough.

"Within one day, that had all changed, which was for the better of New Zealand, but me personally at that point, I was like, 'what the hell's going on? What am I actually going to do?'"

Walsh shows off his bronze medal from the Rio games.
Walsh shows off his bronze medal from the Rio games. Photo credit: Photosport

Now he's enjoying the rare time spent at home with his partner and golden retriever Rippa, and trying to remain optimistic.

"If you're telling yourself a negative story about the whole thing, then it will be negative, but if you change the narrative and go well, there are positives."

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