Couple of days ago the highly awaited duel between the New Zealand shot putters Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill took place. Tom Walsh won the competition with 20,79m (68′ 2″) followed by Jacko Gill 19,93m (65′ 4″). Atheletics New Zealand uploaded a video to YouTube and Didier Poppe added a great comment which Throwholics thinks is a “MUST TO READ”.
Thanks to Poppe for the great comment:
All NZL throwers and fans were expecting this since over 2 years : the shot put match between Jacko GILL , the world junior double champion and record holder , and Tom WALSH , the rising star of the event , NZL record holder and recent World champs Bronze medallist in Soppot.
The medias made it a major event of the week end and were there in force in front of quite a large crowd , quite unusual for a shot put competition. People were even betting on the respective chances of the 2 champions and Tom WALSH was a 3 to 1 favorite of the bookmakers . Indeed nobody knew much about Jacko GILL state of form.
Jacko , the loner , has now a large and mediatic “coaching and management team” . Is that really efficient ? He has physically changed so much that he is hard to recognize from the young slim athlete who was surprising the world from 2010 to 2012 and got everybody admiring his technique and speed. He has become Jacko the mysterious , always “preparing”, never competing, or only in so called custom made “record attempts” with no serious opposition. Living on his “legend” but losing progressively his charism and his fans all over the world by becoming just the opposite sort of thrower that he was.
And in Wellington , this was clear to see right from the warm up. Jacko is now super strong and much bigger but all this new strength does not get into the shot to produce speed and is only used to move his big body. And not too well, as his so much admired technique and speed are gone. The result is that he was finally not even able to break the 20m line not even more in the competition than he was in the warm up.
He later told the medias that he was happy with himself by achieving the NZL Commonwealth standards. The young Jacko would have never been happy with himself with such a modest objective and result and accepted to be beaten by nearly 1m by Tom WALSH in such a circumstance. The young Jacko would have been able to challenge Tom WALSH and get the winning throw until the last round whatever the distance needed (in december 2011 for his 5th ever comp with the 7.26kg, he threw 20,38m in comp and over 20,60m in the warm up).
The 2014 version was already beaten after the second round ! Well done for Tom WALSH and his preparation team .” HE” has now got the speed and the technique and “HE” is going to climb further toward the very top of the World hierarchy and the 22m line needed for possible international major victories.
Behind the two “stars” there was a good fight for the bronze medal which was finally won by Dale PRITCHARD with 15,82m , just 7cm ahead from another promising young thrower , Ben CHONG WONG (18 y) 15,75m PB, with Jerram HUSTON 5th with 15,59m PB , then the “Samoa” evergreen Shaka SOLA 15,56m and Marshall HALL the discus champion who got 3 PBs to finish 7th with 14,72m. DP