Groin injury no hurdle to winning world title

WELLINGTON, 10 Aug 2017:

Newly-crowned world shot putt champion Tom Walsh won the title in London despite a large tear in his groin – that will limit his outings for the rest of the season.

Walsh’s World Championships gold medal was the first ever for a man from New Zealand and the 25-year-old said he had been battling the groin injury when he threw 22.03m to clinch it on Monday.

“I’ve got a 7cm tear in my groin, and that pretty much means some time off from competing to rehab and repair,” Walsh told Fairfax Media today.

“I’ve got some training to do in the next wee while to test out if it’s any good or not, and we’ll go from there.”

The Rio Olympics bronze medallist suffered the injury in his final training session before he went out to top qualifying with a season best throw of 22.14m.

The Christchurch-based builder was limping noticeably after winning the title and said he would need a scan to determine the extent of the injury.

He had the scan in Britain yesterday and said he would now have to adjust his schedule as he sought a lucrative payday in the Diamond League.

“I’m meant to be doing five comps, but I will now not be able to do all five.

“My first competition may be touch and go for the Birmingham Diamond League on Aug 20 but I will definitely be able to compete in Zagreb (Aug 29) and the Diamond League final in Brussels (Sept 1).”

Walsh is second in the Diamond League on 14 points behind American Olympic champion Ryan Crouser, who leads on 24, with the overall winner of the series pocketing US$50,000.

Walsh earned US$60,000 by winning the world title and said any additional prize money would be a big factor in keeping him going throughout the year.

“There is a long time between drinks, so to speak. It is a costly business I’m in. I’m lucky that I get supported by the government pretty well and by Athletics NZ.

“It does make things slightly easier, but it’s also good to make a bit more money if I can as well.”

Meanwhile, China’s Gong Lijiao ended her long wait for a global outdoor title when she won the shot put gold medal at the World Championships yesterday – utterly dominating the competition.

The 28-old-year had won five silver and bronze medals at the World Championships and Olympics but a gold had always eluded her until a chilly, wet night at the London Olympic stadium.

Gong made of light of the conditions as she broke 19m with five of her six attempts and won with a fifth throw of 19.94m.

There were only two other throws over 19m – Anita Marton’s final effort of 19.49m which won silver for the Hungarian and American Michelle Carter’s third throw of 19.14m which took bronze.

Gong first appeared one the scene as an 18-year-old at the 2007 World Championships where she finished seventh.

She won Olympic bronze in Beijing in 2008 and silver in London in 2012 as well as world silver in Beijing two years ago.

Gong was agonisingly close to ending that run in Beijing when she threw 20.30m in the opening round but lost out to Germany’s Christina Schwanitz by 7cm.

– Reuters

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