Decade of Dominance: Tom Walsh’s Rise in Men’s Shot Put
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Decade of Dominance: Tom Walsh’s Rise in Men’s Shot Put

A Decade of Dominance: Tom Walsh’s Journey to the Top of Men’s Shot Put

Ten years since his breakthrough performance at the 2014 World Indoor Championships, Tom Walsh continues to cement his status as one of the leading figures in the dramatic development of the men’s shot put.

The 32-year-old New Zealander has amassed an impressive collection of global indoor medals, including golds in Portland (2016) and Birmingham (2018), as well as bronze medals in Sopot (2014) and Belgrade (2022). However, this season, Walsh opted to take a different approach, competing in the World Athletics Indoor Tour for the first time.

That decision paid off, as Walsh not only secured another indoor title, but he now finds himself joint third on the world top list for 2023 with a season’s best of 22.16m. “I’ve been on tour now for 10 or 11 years and I don’t get to do much new stuff,” he explained. “I’ve always really enjoyed World Indoor Championships – they have obviously been very good to me. So, I just wanted to try something new.”

The Evolving Landscape of Men’s Shot Put

The depth of competition in the men’s shot put has increased dramatically over the past decade. In 2014, when Walsh won his first global indoor medal, only two athletes had surpassed 22 meters. By 2023, that figure had risen to an impressive 11, led by the world record of 23.56m set by Ryan Crouser.

“The performances have gone up dramatically and the depth has gone up, but I think one thing that has definitely dropped off is sponsorship,” Walsh lamented. “I think the only two guys who are sponsored (by an apparel brand) in the men’s shot put are Ryan and Joe, and they both deserve it, absolutely, but the rest of us aren’t, and I’m included in that.”

As he prepares to compete at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow, where he will aim to extend his record streak of men’s world indoor shot put medals, Walsh remains focused on his own performances. “To win World Indoors this year, you’ll have to throw a long way,” he said.

With his sights set on another medal in Glasgow and the opportunity to add to his two Olympic bronze medals in Paris later this year, Tom Walsh’s journey continues to inspire shot put enthusiasts around the world.

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