Tomas Walsh has gone from the edge of elimination to the Olympic podium once again.
It was the first time in the 125-year history of the Olympics the podium was the same in an individual event with the same athletes in the same spots for consecutive Olympic Games. Gold to Ryan Crouser (23.30m Olympic Record, USA). Silver to Joe Kovacs (22.65m, USA) and Bronze to Tomas Walsh (22.47m – NZL).
Third place completed a dramatic reversal of fortunes for Walsh, whose Olympic dream looked to have ended in heartbreak during Tuesday night’s qualification. But having eventually had his third, and pivotal qualifying effort counted – after an initial foul was successfully reviewed, a process that Walsh joked took a few years off his life – the 29-year-old enjoyed a much less stressful final at Olympic Stadium.
Neither Walsh nor anyone else in the 12-strong showpiece looked likely to catch American world record holder and defending champion Ryan Crouser, with compatriot Joe Kovacs the only one coming close to again earn silver.
This was the second medal for New Zealand in Athletics, with Tomas joining Valerie.