Tokyo Olympics: Tom Walsh claims Diamond League shot put victory as Tokyo build up intensifies

Kiwi shot putter Tom Walsh has put down a marker ahead of his tilt at the Tokyo Olympics, winning at the latest Diamond League athletics meet in Doha, Qatar.

Competing for only the second time in the last 18 months, 29-year-old Walsh threw a best of 21.63m, enough to take first place by 74cm. 

The throw was marginally better than the 21.62m thrown for his fourth placed finish at the US Throws Festival in Tuscon, Arizona. That event was won by Walsh's American rival Ryan Crouser, who did not compete in Doha.

Walsh also registered attempts of 21.59m, and two separate efforts of 21.46m, as well as two foul throws. 

Croatia's Filip Mihaljevic finished second behind Walsh, with a best throw of 20.89m.

However, Serbia's Armin Sinancevic managed to better Walsh's mark by throwing 21.88m only to foul out and finish third as a result.

Timaru-born putter Walsh claimed the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, won the 2017 World Championships, gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018, and won the World Indoor Championships in 2016 and 2018.

The Kiwi also competed with the phrase "space for rent" across his singlet, as he searches for a sponsor with only two months until the Tokyo Olympics.