N Zealand’s Walsh de­poses cham­pion Ko­vacs in shot

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

To­mas Walsh of New Zealand won the men’s shot put world ti­tle on Sun­day with a stun­ning se­ries of throws cli­max­ing with a best of 22.03 me­tres. The 25-year-old-a former builder which he cred­its for his body strength edged out Amer­ica’s de­fend­ing cham­pion Joe Ko­vacs, who posted a best of 21.66.

“To pull it out on the last one is awe­some,” said Walsh, who re­vealed he had been un­der­go­ing treat­ment on his groin prior to the fi­nal. “I knew that (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 in the last throw and it worked. I did not want to do 22m in the qual­i­fi­ca­tion and then lose it in the fi­nal.” There was a heated fi­nale, though, when Ko­vacs’s fi­nal throw, that 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 clipped the board as he launched the shot. How­ever, with the heat of bat­tle hav­ing cooled Ko­vacs was sat­is­fied with his sil­ver although he took added sat­is­fac­tion that he would have won if the throw had been al­lowed. “I am happy to get on the podium, of course, but I was ready to come back for the gold,” he said. “My last throw, which I did protest, was long enough to win. De­spite the re­sult of the protest, I am just glad it was enough to win.”

Croa­tia’s Stipe Zu­nic took the bronze with 21.46m whilst there was crush­ing dis­ap­point­ment for Crouser, who could fin­ish only sixth with 21.20m. Walsh pumped the air with his fist af­ter his sec­ond throw and he had good rea­son to as he took the lead from Ko­vacs, who had hurled his shot out to 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. The Amer­i­can’s third ef­fort was a mas­sive throw but it was ruled a foul. The pres­sure in­creased on Crouser as his fourth throw also re­sulted in a foul and he went into the sixth and fi­nal round in sixth spot. How­ever, there was to be no grand­stand fi­nale for the 24-year-old. — AFP

LON­DON: New Zealand’s To­mas Walsh com­petes in men’s shot put fi­nal dur­ing the World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don Sun­day. — AP

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