Tossing gumboots has become a quirky sideline in the international athletics career of former Tauranga decathlete Brent Newdick.
Newdick's winning throw of 48.5 metres at the national championships in Taihape has earned him the right to compete in the world championships near Rome.
His glimpse of possible global boot-throwing domination comes after throwing a gumboot only four times.
Speaking from his decathlon training base in Auckland, the 30-year-old Commonwealth Games silver medallist reflected on his chance encounter with the sport in Queenstown.
He was competing in the egg throwing and catching championships at the inaugural Hilux New Zealand Rural Games.
After getting splattered with eggs, Newdick spotted the chance for something more up his alley at the South Island gumboot throwing championships and decided to give it a go.
Using a spin technique that he hastily adapted from throwing the discus, his gumboot soared further than the rest. But the victory was short-lived when he was disqualified for not being a South Islander.
Newdick did not take it sitting down and, the next day, threw a gumboot the longest in the North Island v South Island contest, taking him through to national honours in Taihape.
He said his technique with the Skellerup size 8 men's gumboot seemed to go pretty well and, by the closing stages of the competition in Queenstown, he noticed that other first timers were doing his spin.
"I seemed to have started something with the discus technique."
Although it was easy to pass off gumboot throwing as a bit of a laugh, he said it was a sport that was taken seriously.
Newdick was unsure if other serious athletes had crossed over to boots, but he said countries that were good at Olympic throwing disciplines, such as Estonia and Finland, were well represented in boot throwing.
With the world record standing at over 60m, Newdick knows he needs a big improvement to be in contention but believes he has plenty of extra distance in him if he practises.
The trip to Rome comes on the back of Newdick's planned decathlon programme in Europe, in which he said his main focus was to nail the qualifying score to attend the Rio Olympics.
He is over injuries which have hampered his performance for the past two years and he rates his chances highly of getting to Rio.
Meanwhile, he wants to acquit himself well as a boot thrower to raise the sport's profile in New Zealand. He was pretty sure the next national championships would be staged at Fieldays, at Mystery Creek.
Boot Throwing World Champs
When: September 12-13
Where: Ascoli Piceno near Rome
Organisers: Italian Boot-throwing Assoc and International Boot-throwing Assoc