ZAGREB, Croatia – Consistency was the order of the day for world champion Tom Walsh, who dominated the men’s Shot Put competition at the Zagreb IAAF World Challenge meeting on Monday (2).
Walsh ended the competition with a best mark of 21.98 meters, but consistently threw over 21-meters in all six rounds, despite the challenges of competing in the windy and rainy conditions at the City Fountains Park.
The New Zealand and Oceania record holder opening the contest with a 21.63m effort, which was good enough to win the competition.
He followed up with a 21.91m toss in the second round before finishing up the qualifying round with a 21.13 mark.
In the final, Walsh improved with every throw, starting with 21.49m before doing 21.74 and then ending the contest with a 21.98m heave in the sixth to confirm his dominance.
“I’m feeling really good with the World Championships coming soon,” Walsh told the Croatian National TV.–WALSH
The 27-year-old is the Olympic bronze medalist from Rio 2016 and is a two-time World Indoor champion in 2016 and 2018.
Darrell Hill of USA was second in Zagreb with an effort of 21.50m in round five, but he also had marks of 21.30m and 21.26m in the competition.
Fellow countryman Joe Kovacs, the 2015 world champion, started with a mere 19.93m, but gradually improved to also go over the 21-meter line after throwing 21.22m in round four to round out the top three.
All African Games champion Chuk Enekwecki of Nigeria who breached the 21-meter line in the last five meetings, wasn’t at his best this time around, throwing 20.95m for fourth.
European silver medalist Konrad Bukowiecki of Poland finished fifth with 20.58m, while USA’s Payton Otterdahl (20.35m) and Bosnia’s Mesud Pezer (20.27m) also went over 20-meters.
The 2019 Zagreb IAAF World Challenge meeting continues with a full schedule on Tuesday, starting with the women’s javelin throw. The men’s 100m will close out the meet.