Welcome to Day 19 of our preview of the 2023 World Champs in Budapest!
For the next 26 days, RunBlogRun will be posting a story a day on the buildup to the World Athletics Outdoor Championships, to be held in Budapest, Hungary, from August 19-August 27, 2023.
Our athlete today is from Oceania.
We will discuss the shot putter from New Zealand, Tomas Walsh.
Thomas Walsh, I must admit, is one of my favorite athletes to interview.
We first talked at the Birmingham Diamond League when the late agent Andy Stubbs, encouraged me to speak with the Kiwi.
This was in 2015. I found Tomas Walsh, to be honest, with a rakish sense of humor. Each time after that, when we spoke,
Tomas had a smile and a good jab. Tomas had come onto his own, with a bronze medal in Sopot, Poland, in the shot in 2014. I recall noting his name in my notebook. That is a big deal, as the Men’s shot put is a terribly tough event to move up into podium contention. In 2014, Tomas also won the Commonwealth Games silver in 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
How do I describe Tomas Walsh in my Midwestern US vernacular?
My late father, Stan, would say of Tomas Walsh, ” he’s no bullshit.”
This is a high compliment from my environs.
Tomas Walsh went on to take 4th in Beijing in 2015.
The tough Kiwi took the Olympic bronze in Rio, and in 2017, Tomas became the world champion.
Tomas Walsh, NZ, smiling as he takes his gold medal, London 2017, photo by Mike Deering / The Shoe Addicts
On Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018, Tomas moved up to Commonwealth Gold!
In Doha, in 2019, Tomas threw 22.90m and did not win; he battled with Joe Kovacs and Ryan Crouser in the toughest, deepest, guttiest shot put I have ever seen. Tomas was a bit annoyed about the bronze and some of the officiating, but he kept it inside. Joe Kovacs won, Ryan Crouser was silver, and Tomas Walsh was third; want to see a fun medal presser, check this out, as we film the pressers (well, pre-pandemic) in their entirety: https://www.runblogrun.com/2020/04/2019-doha-wc-redux-mens-shot-put-presser.html
Between his 30 hours a week working in the construction trade, Tomas trains much of the time on his own.
In 2021, at the delayed 2020 Olympics, Tomas Walsh won a bronze once again.
In 2022, Tomas took fourth in a tough shot put in Eugene. The powerful Kiwi defended his 2018 gold in the Commonwealth with gold in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
Knowing Tomas Walsh, I suspect the guy has been thinking about how he will return to the top of the podium in Budapest, as Tomas will always go for the gold, or he would stop throwing. The guy loves to compete.
— RunBlogRun (@RunBlogRun) August 6, 2022
I sure hope that does not happen soon. I enjoy seeing the mischief in his eyes in a presser, knowing he will zing me with a funny answer.
Watch this Kiwi shot putter, as Tomas Walsh is a force to be reckoned with anytime he shows up in the shot put ring.
Check out my interview from March 2021 with Tomas Walsh: https://www.runblogrun.com/2022/09/socialing-the-distance-featuring-tom-walsh-the-full-interview-world-champion-indoors-2016-2018-olympic-bronze-medalist-2016-2020-and-world-champion-2017.html
To read all of our earlier stories in Witness the Wonder, numbers 1-18: