Tom Walsh defended his shot put title on the final day of the New Zealand Track and Field Championships and, perhaps most importantly, qualified this year's world championships in Beijing.

The Cantabrian, competing against Auckland prodigy Jacko Gill for the first time since last year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, sealed the victory today with his first effort of 20.73m. Gill was second at Newtown Park with 20.33m.

The A standard for August's world championships was 20.45m - a mark that Gill eclipsed at the Auckland Championships last month when he produced a 20.58m put. Today's victory marked the sixth-straight national title for Walsh.

Meanwhile, Nikki Hamblin took the 1500m title - a crown she last held in 2012 - in a time of 4m 12.02s. Camille Buscomb (4m 13.8s) was second, while Rosa Flanagan (4m 14.19s) was third.


Angie Petty (nee Smit) was gunning to repeat her middle distance double after she won the 800m yesterday but she could only muster fourth as he finished in 4m 17.94s.

Hamblin, who claimed two silvers at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010, made her move with around 150m to go and had too much power for the rest of the field.

Olympian Nick Willis won the men's 1500m for the first time since 2008 as his blistering final lap saw him finish in 3m 50.9s, while Julian Matthews claimed second in 3m 52.86s and Wellington's Tim Cornish (3m 53.57s) ran third.

Willis, who has spent time training at altitude in Arizona recently, flew through the final lap as everyone else was left to scrap for second.

After two days of inclement weather in Wellington the sun has made an appearance in the capital today, while the winds have also dropped.