Defending champion Joe Kovacs has to settle for silver, while Andrew Pozzi’s campaign comes to an end as he misses out on sprint hurdles final
Kiwi thrower Tom Walsh had the win of his life at the IAAF World Championships in London on Sunday evening.
It was defending shot put champion Joe Kovacs who led the opening round with a 21.48m throw but that was overtaken by Olympic bronze medallist Walsh, who had headed qualifying, as he threw 21.64m in the second round.
Kovacs produced a 21.66m third round, but Walsh improved to 21.75m to lead at the halfway stage.
The New Zealander retained his dominance with a superb series and he threw 21.70m and 21.63m in the fourth and fifth rounds.
Kovacs looked like he had bettered it with his final throw but it was adjudged a no throw.
With the gold medal won the 25 year-old, who was fourth in 2015, underlined his dominance and consistency with a 22.03m.
“This gold medal is something that me and my team behind me have been working on for so long,” said the winner. “It feels pretty good.
“To pull it out on the last one is awesome.
“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.”
Kovacs held on to the silver.
“My last throw, which I did protest, was long enough to win,” he said. “Despite the result of the protest, I am just glad it was enough to win.”
A surprise third was Stipe Zunic.
A former world junior kickboxing champion and former javelin thrower, he was only 11th in the Olympics but with four throws over 21 metres, highlighted by a 21.46 near PB in the second, he beat the more favoured names to take bronze.
It was close though as Tomas Stanek and Michale Haratyk both threw 21.41m, with the Czech’s second best mark being four centimetres longer.
Olympic champion Ryan Crouser, who has thrown 22.65m this year, was another consistent around the 21 metre mark with four throws over that distance and a best of just 21.20m. He could only place a very disappointing sixth. He too had a big throw adjudged a foul earlier in the competition.
Two-time world indoor champion Ryan Whiting was also over 21 metres in seventh.
The usually very consistent former champion David Storl struggled. After two no throws, his third-round 20.80m wasn’t enough to keep him in the competition.
There was disappointment for Britain in the men’s 110m hurdles semi-finals as European indoor champion Andrew Pozzi failed to make the final after winning his heat in the morning.
Olympic champion Omar McLeod won the first semi in 13.10 with France’s Garfield Darien second with 13.17.
Defending champion Sergey Shubenkov was third in 13.22 with Olympic silver medallist Orlando Ortega also missing an automatic spot with fourth in 13.23 but both were fast enough to bag a fastest losers spot.
The second heat was much slower but much closer. For much of the race, Pozzi was ahead but lost momentum over the closing hurdles and in a blanket finish could only finish fourth. Shane Brathwaite won in 13.26, just ahead of 2012 bronze medallist Hansle Parchment’s 13.27.
The Jamaican was three thousandths of a second ahead of Devon Allen, and that saw Parchment through and Allen out along with Pozzi.
The Briton said: “I didn’t get out too well and I was behind at the start, but I came through really well. It was hard work but I hit the front, then just where I was carrying speed I got too close to hurdle nine, hit it and lost momentum.
“I cleared ten but it was hard to push off at the last hurdle and the others were carrying a little bit more so I lost out on the line.
“I think the times were not outside my capabilities. It’s obviously frustrating that it was close but at the same time I should have been better. ”
Hungary’s Balazs Baji won the final semi-final in 13.23 ahead of world record-holder Aries Merritt.
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