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Local Lad Headlines Shot Put Field

Media Release
29 January 2012 – for immediate release

Local Lad Headlines Shot Put Field

Three-time New Zealand champion Tom Walsh will be the star attraction at the Allcomers Shot Put event at the International Track Meet, New Zealand’s premier track and field event, at Christ’s College Upper Field in Christchurch on Feb 2nd.

Walsh, who has won the New Zealand senior title the last three years in a row - despite still being a month short of his twenty-first birthday - is one of the shining lights of Canterbury athletics, which has seen so many athletes forced to move to other centres for training and competition opportunities. Walsh said today “I’m looking forward to giving it a good nudge in front of the home crowd, and it will be great to be back there again with all that support.”

He will face a stiff challenge in the shot put event from Australian junior record holder Damien Birkinhead, who took that record from Walsh himself last year. The 19-year-old was beaten by Walsh at the Lovelock Classic in Timaru earlier this month, and will be looking to get one back in the cauldron of Christ’s College with the big crowd to be brought in close around them in the final stages.

The two are also expected to be among the main players in the discus event earlier in the programme, with stiff competition coming from current NZ champion Marshall Hall, who beat them both in the discus event at the Lovelock Classic.

Event Director Paul Coughlan said today that they would be repeating the experiment of bringing the crowd inside the track to get a close-up view of the action. “The shot put event was such a crowd pleaser last year, and the athletes and the crowd both got such a rush from the close proximity – Tom is such a great ambassador for the sport here in Canterbury and it will be fantastic to see the home crowd get behind him”.

Tickets are now on sale for the International Track Meet, go to the website www.internationaltrackmeet.co.nz for details.

- ends -

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