Tom Walsh (shot putter)

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Tom Walsh
Tomas Walsh Portland 2016.jpg
Walsh in 2016, after winning gold at the World Indoor Championships
Personal information
NationalityNew Zealand
Born (1992-03-01) 1 March 1992 (age 30)
Timaru, New Zealand
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Weight120 kg (265 lb)[1]
CountryNew Zealand
SportTrack and field
Event(s)Shot put
ClubSouth Canterbury Athletic Club
Coached byIan Baird
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)22.90 m (outdoor)
22.31 m (indoor) (CR)

Tomas Walsh (born 1 March 1992)[1] is a New Zealand athlete who competes mainly in the shot put.[2] He is the current national record holder both outdoors and indoors for the event.[3][4] His personal best of 22.90 m (75 ft 1+12 in), set in Doha, 5 October 2019, is also the Oceanian record and makes him the sixth best shot putter in history.

Walsh was the bronze medallist at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships, the silver medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, 4th at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics, winner of the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships, the bronze medallist at the 2016 Summer Olympics, the gold medallist at the 2017 World Championships and the bronze medallist at the 2019 World Championships, 2022 World Athletics Indoor Championships and the 2020 Summer Olympics, and gold medallist at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Athletics career[edit]

Walsh made his international debut at the 2009 World Youth Championships in Athletics, where he placed sixth in his shot put speciality and also competed in the qualifying of the discus throw.[5] On 12 December 2009 Walsh recorded a put of 20.21 m (66 ft 3+12 in) the 5 kg shot to win the Senior Boys title at the New Zealand National Secondary School Track and Field Championships. This performance was a New Zealand Youth (Under 18) record which was broken the following day by Jacko Gill when winning the Junior Boys (Under 16) title.

Walsh broke the New Zealand junior record on 18 March 2010 with a put of 18.82 m (61 ft 8+34 in) with the 6 kg shot but this was broken 9 days later by Gill with 19.92 m (65 ft 4+14 in). At the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics Walsh failed to qualify for the final of the shot put which was won by Gill.[6][7][8]

In 2012 Walsh won his first senior national shot put title which he retained the following season and also added the discus title. On 12 December 2013 Walsh broke Gill's New Zealand senior shot put record with 20.61 m (67 ft 7+14 in) in Melbourne, Australia[9] which he improved with 21.16 m (69 ft 5 in) on 22 March 2014, also in Melbourne.[10]

At the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships, in his first senior international competition and first ever competition indoors,[11] Walsh finished third in the men's shot put.[12] He set an indoor national record of 20.41 m (66 ft 11+12 in) in the qualifying round and improved upon this mark three times in the final finishing with 21.26 m (69 ft 9 in) which was an Oceanian indoor record and the same distance as the Oceanian outdoor record.[4][13]

Later in 2014, Walsh improved his outdoor personal best and the New Zealand record with 21.23 m (69 ft 7+34 in) at the 2014 IAAF Diamond League meet in Glasgow on 11 July,[14] before improving again to 21.24 m (69 ft 8 in) on 27 July, during the qualifying round at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which was a Commonwealth Games record.[15] In the final, Walsh won the silver medal behind O'Dayne Richards.[16]

In 2015, Walsh defended his New Zealand shot put title with a throw of 20.73 m (68 ft 0 in) on 8 March,[17] before setting a new Oceanian record of 21.37 m (70 ft 1+14 in) on 21 March at the Melbourne Track Classic.[18]

Walsh finished fourth at the 2015 World Championships on 23 August in Beijing, throwing a new personal best of 21.58m.[19] He was just 11 cm off the bronze medal. He improved his personal best to 21.62m on 8 September in winning the shot put at the Hanžeković Memorial in Zagreb.[20] On 11 September Walsh won his first Diamond League meet with a throw of 21.39m in Brussels.[21]

In the 2016 World Indoor Championships, Walsh won the gold medal with a throw of 21.78m, breaking his own New Zealand national and Oceania area indoor records three times in the process. He went on to take the bronze medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, with 21.36m, and the following year won the 2017 IAAF World Championships with 22.03m.[22]

Walsh retained his World Indoor title at the 2018 World Indoor Championships, with a then personal best of 22.31m. He surpassed this with 22.67m on 25 March the same year, at the Sir Graeme Douglas International Track Challenge in West Auckland, New Zealand, moving him into the top-10 World All-Time.

At the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, Walsh threw 22.45m, setting a new Commonwealth Games record en route to qualify for the Shot Put Men's final.

In 2019, Walsh threw 22.90m in the first round of the 2019 World Athletics Championships to set a new Oceanian record. He finished in third place.

At the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Walsh took third place once again, with a throw of 22.47m. At the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Championships, Walsh equalled his own indoor Oceanian record.

Personal life[edit]

Walsh works part-time as a builder in Timaru.[23][24]

Tom's father, Peter, won the New Zealand junior men's shot put in the 1964–65 season[citation needed] and was a member of the 1974 South Canterbury Rugby side that won the Ranfurly Shield.[citation needed]


Personal bests[edit]

  • Shot put – 22.31 m (73 ft 2+14 in) (2018, 2022) AR NR

Shot put season's best[edit]

Senior implement weight (7.26 kg) only.

Year Performance Competition Location Date World
2010 17.57 m Waitakere, New Zealand 20 February
2011 18.83 m North Shore, New Zealand 5 December 123
2012 19.33 m Amiens, France 30 June 111=
2013 20.61 m Melbourne, Australia 12 December 22=
2014 21.26 m (i) World Indoor Championships Sopot, Poland 7 March 11
21.24 m Commonwealth Games Glasgow, Scotland 27 July
2015 21.62 m Hanžeković Memorial Zagreb, Croatia 7 September 5
2016 22.21 m Hanžeković Memorial Zagreb, Croatia 5 September 2
2017 22.14 m World Championships London, England 5 August
2018 22.31 m 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham, England 3 March
2018 22.67 m Sir Graeme Douglas International Track Challenge West Auckland, New Zealand 25 March
2019 22.90 m 2019 World Athletics Championships Doha, Qatar 5 October =2
2020 21.70 m New Zealand National Champs Christchurch, New Zealand 6 March

Competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2009 World Youth Championships Brixen, Italy 6th Shot put (5 kg) 19.60 m
31st (q) Discus throw (1.5 kg) 48.83 m
2010 World Junior Championships Moncton, Canada 16th (q) Shot put (6 kg) 17.92 m
2014 World Indoor Championships Sopot, Poland 3rd Shot put 21.26 m
Commonwealth Games Glasgow, United Kingdom 2nd Shot put 21.19 m
2015 World Championships Beijing, China 4th Shot put 21.58 m
2016 World Indoor Championships Portland, United States 1st Shot put 21.78 m
Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 3rd Shot put 21.36 m
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 1st Shot put 22.03 m
2018 World Indoor Championships Birmingham, United Kingdom 1st Shot put 22.31 m
2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, Australia 1st Shot put 21.41m [a]
2019 World Championships Doha, Qatar 3rd Shot put 22.90 m
2021 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan 3rd Shot put 22.47 m
2022 World Indoor Championships Belgrade, Serbia 3rd Shot put 22.31 m
World Championships Eugene, United States 4th Shot put 22.08 m

National titles[edit]

  • Shot put: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
  • Discus throw: 2013


  1. ^ 22.45 m GR in qualifying


  1. ^ a b c "Glasgow 2014 – Tom Walsh Profile".
  2. ^ Tomas Walsh. IAAF. Retrieved on 9 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Athletics New Zealand Rankings and Records".
  4. ^ a b Tom Walsh claims brilliant bronze for NZ. (8 March 2014). Retrieved on 9 March 2014.
  5. ^ World Youth Championships 2009 Archived 8 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine. World Junior Athletic History. Retrieved on 9 March 2014.
  6. ^ Tomas Walsh. Tilastopaja. Retrieved on 9 March 2014.
  7. ^ Jacko Gill. Tilastopaja. Retrieved on 9 March 2014.
  8. ^ World Junior Championships 2010 Archived 9 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine. WJAH. Retrieved on 9 March 2014.
  9. ^ Johnson, Len (12 December 2013). Shot putter Walsh shares spotlight with distance runners at Zatopek:10. IAAF. Retrieved on 9 March 2014.
  10. ^ (2014-03-23). [1]. The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved on 23 March 2014. Archived 23 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Lewis, Paul (9 March 2014). Athletics: Bronze is pure gold. The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved on 9 March 2014.
  12. ^ "IAAF: Shot Put Series Result - IAAF World Indoor Championships 2014 -".
  13. ^ Minshull, Phil (8 March 2014). Report: men's shot put final – Sopot 2014. IAAF. Retrieved on 9 March 2014.
  14. ^ Matthew Brown (11 July 2014). "Hassan beats Aregawi again with a meeting record – IAAF Diamond League". IAAF. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  15. ^ Fred Woodcock (28 July 2014). "Games record for Walsh in qualifying". Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  16. ^ Mark Geenty (29 July 2014). "Tom Walsh wins silver in Games shot put". Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  17. ^ Toby Robson (8 March 2015). "Tom Walsh wins New Zealand national shot put title". Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  18. ^ NZ athletes on record spree in Melbourne. Retrieved on 22 March 2015.
  19. ^ "New Zealand's Tom Walsh pipped for shot put bronze at world championships". 24 August 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  20. ^ "Kiwi shot putter Tom Walsh wins Zagreb World Challenge with another personal best". 8 September 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  21. ^ "Tom Walsh wins Diamond League meet in Brussels, beats shot put world champion". 12 September 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  22. ^ "IAAF: Shot Put Series Result - IAAF World Championships London 2017 -".
  23. ^ "What a shot, Tom Walsh".
  24. ^ "Rio Olympics 2016: Tom Walsh wins bronze". 19 August 2016 – via New Zealand Herald.

External links[edit]

Preceded by New Zealand's Sportsman of the Year
2017, 2018
Succeeded by
Preceded by Halberg Awards – Supreme Award
Succeeded by