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Athletics

Tom Walsh has taken the bronze medal in what’s being described as the greatest ever men’s shotput final at the Athletics World Champs.

The Timaru local heaved a new PB of 22.90m with his first throw to set the tone in Doha.

Walsh held first place until 2015 World Champ Joe Kovacs from the US threw 1cm further with his final throw. In a cruel twist of fate Olympic Champion Ryan Crouser (USA) then equalled Walsh’s distance with his final attempt and took second place, bumping Walsh to third on countback.

The results saw the top three separated by just 1cm.

On Instagram Walsh posted:

“Craziness happened last night. I’m not going to say it doesn’t hurt because it does, but a hell of a comp boys. Also thanks for all the support I have received from around the world. Next year is going to be one hell of a ride, and I for one am looking forward to it.”

Jacko Gill finished the competition in 7th, with a best throw of 21.45m, just 2cm off his PB.

Meanwhile on the track, distance runner Camille Buscomb set another PB in the 5000m final, crossing in 14:58.59 to place 12th overall. Buscomb has had an incredible World Championships, qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in the 10,000m and 5000m and setting new personal best times in both events as well.

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Football

New Zealand will now have two football teams at Tokyo 2020 after the U-23 men’s national team joined the Football Ferns in securing Olympic qualification.

 Des Buckingham’s side dominated the qualifying tournament in Fiji and underlined their superiority in the final, overcoming the Solomon Islands 5-0 to secure an Olympic berth.

“I just said to the boys that that final was the perfect game,” Buckingham said.

“To win a final 5-0 against a very good Solomons team and put New Zealand into the Olympics for only the third time in history is a huge achievement for this group,” he added.

“I can’t quite put it into words, it’s an unbelievable feeling right now. It’s very emotional but I’m very pleased and proud for the playing group, and not just the 20 that we here but the 70 or 80 that have been part of this journey and will continue to be part of it over the next eight or nine months.”

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Gymnastics

Rio 2016 Olympian Dylan Schmidt has finished 8th at the Valladolid Trampoline World Cup in Spain.

The 22-year-old who is returning from injury crashed on his second skill to drop down the leaderboard.

On Instagram he posted “Felt good today but was obviously not what I was looking for. Oh well, move on and focus on the next one.”

 

Rugby Sevens

The Black Ferns Sevens have finished third at the Glendale World Series stop in Colorado after losing their semi-final against the USA.

The Americans scored two late tries in the semi to beat the defending champion New Zealanders 19-17.

The Black Ferns bounced back in the bronze medal final, coming from 14-0 down to win 31-14. 

 

Mountain Bike

New Zealand Mountain Bike Champion Anton Cooper has given a thumbs-up to the cross-country course to be used for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Cooper finished ninth in the official test event on the cross-country course at Izu, around 110kms from Tokyo, which will also be the base for track cycling at the Olympics.

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Above: Cooper in action

Swiss star Nino Schurter, the Rio Olympic gold medallist, out-sprinted Frenchman Victor Koretzky for the win in 1:17:18 with Cooper less than a minute behind.

“The track is very cool. It rode really well and I felt good on it. It is a tough course – nothing crazy technical but it is always challenging and there’s a lot to think about. The climbs are steep but that suits me,” said Cooper.

“I felt confident on it and raced really well. Obviously, it is off-season so I had not done much training but I felt really good.

“If I could design a course for myself, then this is pretty close to it and then having a hot race as well is another thing that tends to bring the best out of me,” said Cooper.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games Tomas Walsh
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