Walsh’s final heave deposes defending champ
LONDON — New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh won the men’s shot put world title on Sunday with a stunning series of throws capped by a best of 22.03 meters.
The 25-year-old — a former house builder, which he credits for his body strength — edged defending champion Joe Kovacs of the US, who posted a best of 21.66m.
“To pull it out on the last one is awesome,” said Walsh, who revealed he had been undergo- ing treatment on his groin prior to the final.
“I knew that (the USA’s Olympic champion) Ryan Crouser was going to attack on the last attempt and it is so special for me to know that I was able to attack, too.
“Whether it was a fierce throw or not, I tried my hardest on the last throw and it worked. I did not want to do 22m in the qualification and then lose it in the final.”
Walsh pumped the air with his fist after his second throw as he took the lead from Kovacs, who had thrown 21.46.
Walsh consolidated his lead with his third effort recording a mark of 21.75m, but things weren’t going well for Crouser, who slipped to fifth by the third round.
There was a heated finale when Kovacs’ last throw, which appeared to be over 22m, was ruled out by a red flag.
He demanded an explanation but there was to be no going back on the decision as his trailing foot had clipped the board as he launched the shot.
However, with the heat of battle having cooled, Kovacs was satisfied with his silver.
“I am happy to get on the podium, of course, but I was ready to come back for the gold,” he said.
China’s Lyu Huihui broke the women’s Asian javelin throw record at the World Athletics Championships in London on Sunday.
Lyu, the silver medalist in the 2015 worlds two years ago in Beijing, set the record of 67.59 meters in her first attempt, bettering the pervious mark of 66.47 set by compatriot Liu Shiying less than three months ago.