Tokyo Olympics 2021: Former world champions Tom Walsh, Dame Val Adams turn shot put into endurance event

Shot put is usually known as one of of the most explosive Olympic sports… but that wasn't the case in Christchurch on Saturday.

Former world champions Tom Walsh and Dame Valarie Adams took on the challenge of throwing 20 metres or more at 21 different throwing circles around the city, turning the discipline into an endurance event.

When you can't travel overseas to compete, taking the mini van around town will have to suffice.

"It's actually really good just getting the competition juices flowing a little bit," insists Walsh.

When the throwing started at 8am, he, Dame Val, Ryan Ballantyne and Nick Palmer felt fresh - but this was a marathon event.

"It's pretty different," says Adams. "I must admit I'm pretty gassed at the moment."

The competition was serious, with a full support cast in tow and precise measurements keeping the athletes honest.

Each had just four throws to reach the 20m mark at each circle, hoping to achieve it early or suffer.

"I've taken the most throws by far out of anyone, so I'm in a pretty dark deep pit at the moment," admits Palmer.

The big decision was strategy or ego - throwers could choose their shot put weight, but they had to stick to it all day.

Walsh went bold with the 7.26kg Olympic weight.

"Yeah, I'm the only real person between the four of us," he says. "Val's just decided to go quite light with 3kg... I'm not even sure if it's that."

Says Dame Val: "All to their own. We'll see how he goes in the next 10 circles, that will tell whether he's made a good choice or not."

Apparently not, as Walsh missed two circles, while Adams went a perfect 21 from 21, proving that this explosive sport could be just as much about endurance as it is power.