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Olympic shot put champion competing in NZ

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/01/2017

Olympic champion Ryan Crouser will lock horns with premier Kiwi shot put pair Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill at two domestic meets in this month.

American Crouser has confirmed he will compete at the "Big Shot" meet in Christchurch on February 19 and the Auckland Track Challenge seven days later.

The 24-year-old stormed to victory at Rio last August, throwing a massive personal best of 22.52m to break the Olympic record.

Walsh was third with a best of 21.36m while Gill placed ninth (20.50m).

World indoor champion Walsh went on to throw substantially further last year on his way to clinching the Diamond League overall honours, including a personal best 22.21m in Zagreb.

He holds a 3-2 career head-to-head winning record against Crouser.

Former junior world champion Gill has opened the domestic summer in style, throwing a personal best 21.01m at a low-key event in Lower Hutt to qualify for the world championships.

Athletics NZ events manager Gareth Archer says the key to luring Crouser in his off-season was the offer of some hunting and fishing.

Also in the field is double world indoor champion Ryan Whiting of the United States, whose New Zealand all-comers record of 21.27m is expected to come under threat.

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