Tokyo Olympics: Kiwi shot putter Tom Walsh reveals personal impact of Games uncertainty

One of the country's leading athletes has spoken out about his personal struggles, as uncertainty continues to surround the Tokyo Olympics.

The rescheduled games are set down for July, but the pandemic is showing no sign of slowing down, prompting fresh doubts about whether the games can go ahead. 

That doubt is taking its toll on shot putter Tom Walsh, who's desperate for a shot at gold in six months time. 

"We're planning on it happening but we're also not sold on it," Walsh tells Newshub.

Should the Games go ahead, it'll be almost two years since Walsh competed overseas. 

His last international competition was at the world championships in Doha in October 2019, where he came just four millimetres short of gold.

With no Olympics to progress to, Walsh admits he felt lost.

"All of a sudden I had nothing, I had no immediate goals and didn't know what was going on," Walsh says.

The 28-year-old is holding on to hope that he'll get the chance to better his bronze medal effort in Rio in 2016.

"There's no two ways about it - if that announcement comes, it's going to be shit for me, shit for any athletes and shit for any Olympic hopefuls."

Walsh feels particularly bad for two veterans nearing the end of their careers - his training partner Valerie Adams, and distance runner, Nick Willis.

"Realistically, can they hold on for another three years?" he asks. "That's a harder thing to say than where I am.

Walsh confesses that the news of last year's postponement of the Games took its toll.

"Everything was up in the air with the season, and I was like 'why am I still throwing? Why am I trying to do this?"

Walsh credits his support system for getting him back on track.

Now back breaking personal bests in the gym, Walsh is eyeing the top of the winner's podium.

"When it matters, I generally show up and throw well, and there's no reason why I shouldn't be able to do that again."

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