There was excellent news for New Zealand at the athletics stadium today when both men’s shot putters qualified impressively for tonight’s final.
Tom Walsh, the current world indoor champion, needed just one throw to qualify, sending out a 21.03m effort – well in excess of the qualifying target of 20.65m.
Aucklander shot putter Jacko Gill qualified on his third throw. His sequence was 20.19m, 19.80m, 20.80m.
So going into the final, Walsh is the second qualifier behind American Ryan Crouser, who managed 21.59m, and Gill is fourth.
The New Zealanders have reaffirmed their standing in the shot putting world.
Walsh, 24, was fourth at last year’s world champs in Beijing. His indoor success this year in Portland has lifted him to among the medal favourites in Rio.
Gill, only 21, was eighth at last year’s world champs and ninth in Portland. He has had to battle a foot injury coming into the Olympics, so it was heartening to see him perform so well in qualifying.Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Jacko Gill Tomas Walsh Athletics