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Walsh smashes NZ record in shot put win

NZN 27/08/2016

Tom Walsh has smashed his own New Zealand shot put record in winning the Diamond League event in Paris.

A week after securing an Olympic bronze medal in Rio, Walsh threw considerably further to head a strong field which featured Olympic champion Ryan Crouser of the United States.

The 24-year-old from Timaru unfurled a 22m heave in the final round to head off Crouser by 1cm.

The distance was a New Zealand and Oceania record. It surpassed Walsh's previous indoor (21.62m) and outdoor (21.78m) marks and was well clear of his best effort in Rio of 21.36m.

It was no fluke, with Walsh having taken the early lead in the second round with his throw of 21.81m.

Both distances eclipsed the meet record of Swiss great Werner Gunthor's, which has stood for 24 years.

"I knew I was in good shape but I didn't expect to throw so far," Walsh said.

"After Rio, I had something to prove. The stadium, the fans, everything was perfect tonight."

The win lifts Walsh to the top of the lucrative Diamond League standings, sitting four points clear of American Joe Kovacs.

Walsh plans to compete at a meet in Warsaw on Sunday.

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