By Daniel Gilhooly
Tom Walsh has picked up a US$60,000 (NZ$82,000) bonus after a nervous and irritating wait to claim his world athletics championship gold medal.
New Zealand thrower Walsh admits he was emotional when presented with the shot put gold medal yesterday (NZT) at London's Olympic Stadium. The 25-year-old revealed the tension that pervaded the leadup to the ceremony, with a "re-protest" from American Ryan Crouser having the potential to demote the big Kiwi to the silver medal.
Olympic champion Crouser's initial protest over a foul throw during Monday's final had been dismissed by the jury of appeal.
However, the American remained unconvinced, believing his third round throw should have been deemed legal. The throw travelled more than 22.30m, which would have eclipsed Walsh's winning distance of 22.03m.
It was only in the lead-up to the medal ceremony that Crouser's second appeal was rejected, leaving him ranked sixth and Walsh relieved.
"It was just before we walked out to the ceremony I heard from [coach] Dale Stevenson that everything was going to stay the same," Walsh said.
"But I don't think it's been handled in the right way, it's a bit of a shame and it kind of brought a little bit of a downer to the guys in the medal ceremony room not knowing exactly what the story was.
"It was a weird feeling in the medal ceremony usually it's quite happy and jovial and today it was a little bit nervous."
The silver medal went to American Joe Kovacs, who was unsuccessful with a similar appeal.
Walsh, who became the first Kiwi man to claim a world championships medal, admitted the scale of his achievement dawned on him when he heard the national anthem and saw those he knew in the crowd.
"I'm not usually a teary guy but I felt like I got a bit of watery eyes there at a little part of it," he said.
There might be more tears when Walsh gets a tattoo after losing a bet with Stevenson.
Despite winning gold, Walsh confirmed he lost a bet with Stevenson after failing to beat his personal best in the final.
Walsh revealed if he beat his best ever effort, Stevenson would have to get a tattoo. But he fell short meaning Walsh will need to get some ink - of his coach's choice.
Walsh took out the event with a best throw of 22.03m, which was short of his personal best of 22.21m which he set last year in Zagreb.
"I guess I have to get a wee tattoo on my foot somewhere of his choice, which will be nice," Walsh said.
"I'm sure he'll come up with something outstanding for me," he said. "He'll probably come back with a butterfly or love heart."
Walsh is in line for another big payday of $US50,000 (NZ$68,000) if he can win the Diamond League final on September 1 in Brussels.