Walsh throws championship record to defend shot put title

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Walsh throws championship record to defend shot put title
Walsh throws championship record to defend shot put title

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) – Tomas Walsh of New Zealand broke a 31-year-old world indoors athletics championship record to win the shot put on Saturday.

Not content with 22.13 meters with his first shot, defending champion Walsh threw a record 22.31 with his last to gasps from spectators at Arena Birmingham.

Ulf Timmermann set the previous record of 22.24 at the 1987 World Championships in Indianapolis.

“I came here to win but I knew that I would have to throw well to beat these guys,” said Walsh. “It was a crazy competition but I finished with a boom.”

It was a third silver world indoor medal for Germany’s David Storl. Both he and Tomas Stanek of the Czech Republic threw 21.44 but Storl had a superior second best throw.

Seven men threw over 21 meters, a first for indoor competition, while 10 were over 20 meters – also a first.

Earlier, Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela left it until late but successfully defended her triple jump crown.

Jamaica’s Kimberly Williams and Ana Peleteiro of Spain had both jumped personal bests of 14.48 meters and 14.40 to take up the gold and silver medal positions, respectively. Rojas then produced a world leading 14.63 in the penultimate round to take the lead.

Williams, who had led from the start, couldn’t better her mark with her final jumps, while Peleteiro got a red flag.

“This is a great achievement for Venezuela and for our nation. I hope I brought a bit of joy to them and they enjoyed watching it,” Rojas said. “I trained so hard for this. It is hard to find words to describe my feelings.”

Elsewhere, world record holder Christian Coleman survived an early scare to win his 60-meter heat.

Coleman, who smashed Maurice Greene’s 20-year record last month by clocking 6.34 seconds, stumbled on his third step but cruised to victory in 6.71.

Both the semifinals and the final take place later Saturday.

Kevin Mayer maintained his lead going into the final event of the heptathlon but the Frenchman’s hopes for gold diminished following a disappointing pole vault performance.

Mayer was second in the 60-meter hurdles, behind closest challenger Damian Warner of Canada and, although he comfortably cleared 5.00 meters in the pole vault, he skipped the next height and failed on all three of his attempts at 5.20.

Warner got a personal best of 4.90 to leave him 34 points behind Mayer overall. If both equal their 1,000-meter times from their most recent completed heptathlon, Warner would end up winning by one point.

New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh celebrates after winning the gold medal and setting a new championship record in the men’s shot put final at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Britain, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh makes an attempt in the men’s shot put final at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Britain, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Germany’s David Storl reacts after an attempt in the men’s shot put final at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Britain, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women’s triple jump final at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Britain, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Silver medalist Jamaica’s Kimberly Williams, gold medalist Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas and bronze medalist Spain’s Ana Peleteiro, from left to right, celebrate after the women’s triple jump final at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Britain, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas lands in an attempt in the women’s triple jump final at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Britain, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
United States’ United States’ Christian Coleman reacts after winning a heat of the men’s 60 meters race at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Britain, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Sweden’s Odain Rose, United States’ United States’ Christian Coleman and Saint Kitts and Nevis’ Kim Collins, from left to right, cross the finish line in a heat of the men’s 60 meters race at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Britain, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
France’s Kevin Mayer clears the bar in the men’s pole vault of the heptathlon at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Britain, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Austria’s Dominik Distelberger, France’s Kevin Mayer and Canada’s Damian Warner, from left, compete in the 60-meter hurdles of the men’s heptathlon at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Britain, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
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