Athletics: Walsh beats Gill for seventh national title

Tom Walsh competes in the Men's Shot Put final during the Auckland Track Challenge. Photo / Getty Images
Tom Walsh competes in the Men's Shot Put final during the Auckland Track Challenge. Photo / Getty Images

Tom Walsh has won the highly anticipated head-to-head battle with Jacko Gill and smashed his own New Zealand Resident record to win the shot put title at the Athletics National Championships in Dunedin.

Walsh fired a massive 21.11m throw with his third attempt to claim a seventh successive national title.

Little separated the pair before Walsh's third throw - Gill actually held the lead at that point with a throw of 20.22m.

The Aucklander extended his best throw to 20.23m but had no answer to Walsh's mammoth effort.

Both athletes will contest the Indoor World Championships in a fortnight.


Walsh flies out to Melbourne to compete in the IAAF World Challenge event on Saturday, before heading to Portland Oregon for the World Indoor Championships, while Gill will bypass Melbourne and head straight to the indoor champs in the USA.

Matthew Wyatt (Auckland) took a surprisingly easy victory in the Otago Polytechnic men's 100m final in a personal best of 10.68 into a head wind from Scott Walker and Alex Jordan.

Auckland teammate Rochelle Coster, after five minor medals in 2010 - 2014 and disqualification last year, finally won gold in the Braken Learning women's 100m in a personal best of 11.64. Previous champions Kelsey Berryman (2015) and Fiona Morrison (2014) filled the minor placings.

The much awaited under 20 women's 100m was taken out by Zoe Hobbs from Lucy Sheat in 11.93 while Hamish Gill beat Jacob Matson and Jordan Bolland in the under 20 men's race. Gill also won the under 20 men's long jump gold with 7.36.

Matt Bloxham (Auckland) retained his Les Mills senior men's hammer title with a best throw of 61.63 from Warren Button and Todd Bates.

Camille Buscomb had too much for Andrea Hewitt over the last lap of the Leith Harriers women's 5000m winning in 16:03.75 by just over one second.

The men's 5000m gold went to Hayden McLaren, grabbing his first national senior track title in 14:37.26 from Oska Inkster-Baynes and Caden Shields.

In a very close tussle between the discus divas, Siositina Hakeai prevailed over Te Rina Keenan by just 0.03 throwing 56.11 to 56.08. It was Hakeai's fifth successive Les Mills national senior discus title.

Kelsey Berryman's disappointment of losing her 100m title was tempered by her narrow first victory in the women's long jump 5.93 to 5.92 over previous winner Mariah Ririnui.

Senior 3000m race walking title went to Jonathon Lord and Rozie Robinson.

Javelin thrower Tanya Murray set a new national under 17 record of 45.53 winning the Athletics Taieri under 18 contest.

Hollie Robinson took out the Para women's javelin with a new personal best of 40.41, while other Para-athlete winners were Jess Hamill in women's shot put, Aodhan Hamilton in the men's discus, William Stedman and Anna Grimaldi over 100m, while Stedman also won the long jump.

- NZ Herald

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