Shot putter Walsh not ready to fire all shots
When Tom Walsh next steps foot in New Zealand he hopes to have a shiny new Commonwealth Games medal around his neck.
The 22-year-old shot putter last night left for a seven-week overseas buildup to the Glasgow Games, starting with this weekend's Eugene Diamond League event in the American northwest.
Walsh then flies to Switzerland where he will spend six weeks training with Valerie Adams, her coach Jean-Pierre Egger and New Zealand decathlete Scott McLaren.
The part-time builder, full-time athlete, has just completed a tough six-week training block so doesn't expect to be quite at his best this week at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meet which features six of the world's top seven putters.
Walsh is ranked No 11 in the world, though second in the Commonwealth behind Canada's world No 2 Dylan Armstrong.
And while a medal at this weekend's nine-man event might be out of reach, Walsh does predict "some real fireworks" before the July Games.
"I'm hoping to go to a few events, including the Glasgow Diamond League meet and there's a shot event in the Czech Republic before the Games.
"The first competition might be a bit tough because it's only a week after some pretty heavy weights, but before the Commonwealth Games I'd like to think there'll be some real fireworks."
At this stage of his buildup Walsh is reluctant to talk about distances, but he did say he was excited about how he was throwing.
"I'm quite confident at the moment, but that confidence is mainly based around the consistency in my technique and I've been throwing really well in what's a pretty heavy phase of training."
Walsh has a simple goal for Glasgow. It will be his first Commonwealth Games and he expected competition would be tough as five of the field had thrown more than 21 metres.
"[But] my goal is definitely to make the top three and get a medal. Obviously I'd love the main one, but I'd be happy with any medal."
Walsh will also be pushed by another young Kiwi, Jacko Gill.
Walsh beat Gill in the much-anticipated duel at the national champs in Wellington in March, throwing 20.79m to Gill's 19.93m. It was his fifth straight national title.
- The Press