Tom Walsh’s Dominance: Pursuit of Fifth World Indoor Medal
3 mins read

Tom Walsh’s Dominance: Pursuit of Fifth World Indoor Medal

A Decade at the Top: Tom Walsh’s Quest for a Fifth Consecutive World Indoor Medal

Tom Walsh, a New Zealand shot put athlete, is embarking on a new challenge as he aims to extend his record streak of men’s shot put titles at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow.

Walsh’s Impressive Indoor Record

  • Walsh has enjoyed tremendous success at the global indoor events, claiming bronze in Sopot in 2014, gold in Portland two years later, and retaining that title in Birmingham in 2018 before adding another bronze to his haul in Belgrade in 2022.
  • Prior to the recent World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Ostrava, those four world indoor competitions had been the only indoor competitions Walsh had ever contested.

Embracing the World Indoor Tour

“I’ve been on tour now for 10 or 11 years and I don’t get to do much new stuff,” he said in Ostrava. “I’ve always wanted to do the indoor circuit and previously things haven’t lined up for it.”

  • Walsh’s decision to embrace the World Indoor Tour has paid dividends, with the New Zealander securing the 2024 overall title after a consistent series of performances across five meetings.
  • His season’s best of 22.16m places him joint third on this year’s world top list, and he will now head to Glasgow looking to add another world indoor crown to his burgeoning collection.

The Evolving Depth of Men’s Shot Put

“The big thing is the depth of competition and challenging myself against the best guys in the world as much as I can,” Walsh explains.

  • The dramatic development of the men’s shot put over the past decade has seen the event evolve significantly, with 11 athletes surpassing the 22-meter mark in 2023 alone, led by world record holder Ryan Crouser’s 23.56m.
  • “When I first came out, in 2013 or 2014, you could win meets with 21 metres, like low 21s,” Walsh recalls. “Now you can throw 22-mid and get second, third, fourth, fifth. The depth is there, too.”

The Need for Sponsorship

Despite the sport’s growth, Walsh believes one aspect has not kept pace: sponsorship.

“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,” he laments.

Preparing for the World Indoor Championships

As he prepares for another tilt at world indoor glory in Glasgow, Walsh’s focus remains firmly on his own performances, with the opportunity to add to his two Olympic bronze medals in Paris later this year also on his radar.

“To win World Indoors this year, you’ll have to throw a long way,” he says.

However, the New Zealander has his sights set on more than just medals, with a round of golf in Scotland also on his agenda during his time in the UK.

🔗 Source