Sunday, December 10

Walsh out of the medals

The 30-year-old Christchurch-based thrower, who was hunting a third successive world outdoor medal, struggled to find his absolute best although an impressive fifth round throw of 22.08m elevated the double Olympic bronze medallist to fourth as he threatened a podium position.

Producing his equal best finishing position at a World Championships, Gill unleashed a best for the day of 21.40m to place seventh in his fourth successive World Athletics Championship final.

The USA claimed a clean sweep of the podium as Olympic champion and world record-holder Ryan Crouser fired out a monster championship record 22.94m in round five to dislodge defending champion Joe Kovacs, who posted a season’s best of 22.89m to claim silver.

A personal best of 22.29m by Josh Awatunde earned bronze to ensure a US 1-2-3.

Walsh said: “I wasn’t really in the comp the whole time, I was just a bit pushy and not smooth like when I throw well. So to throw 22.08m was quite a surprise and it means physically I am in the right shape, I just didn’t quite give myself the chance to throw a long way which is disappointing.

“I felt like I controlled my nerves pretty well, I was just trying too hard and as I have said in the past that’s not when I throw well. I need to find that feeling of not trying too hard again because I have had it in training and bits and pieces in comps leading up to this, but I just didn’t have it today.”

Zoe Hobbs followed up her scintillating 11.08 Oceania record in the heats of the women’s 100m on Sunday by finished a highly creditable fifth in the semi-finals, posting a time of 11.13.

Sam Tanner narrowly missed out on a final spot but performed with pride in the semi-finals of the men’s 1500m to place eighth in 3:36.32.

The 21-year-old New Zealand champion was almost inadvertently caught up an early race tangle as the Kenyan Kumari Taki fell but otherwise ran an intelligent race as he passed 800m in a little under 1:55.

Featuring in clearly the much quicker of the two semi-finals and with the first five automatically qualifying for the final plus the two next fastest as he hit the bell in seventh, with a five-metre gap on the athlete in eighth, the Papamoa athlete looked a good bet to bank a spot in the final.

However, the American Josh Thompson produced a powerful surge in the latter stages to relegate the Kiwi to eighth in 3:36.32 and the Kiwi, who competed at the Tokyo Olympic last year, just missed out on a slot in the medal race by one place. Kenyan Abel Kipsang took the semi-final victory in 3:33.68.

There was disappointment for Olivia McTaggart in the final of the women’s pole vault as she no-heighted at 4.30m. The 22-year-old Aucklander, who had comfortably qualified with 4.50m, boasts a PB of 4.65m. Olympic champion Katie Nageotte of the USA added the world title to her Olympic crown with a best of 4.85m.

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