2018 Sportsman of the Year Tom Walsh. Credit: Photosport

Timaru-born Walsh first represented New Zealand in shot put at the World Under 18 Championships in 2009. He finished sixth at the age of 17. 

At the 2014 World Indoor Championships in Poland, his first senior international competition, Walsh won a bronze medal. In the same year he broke a Commonwealth Games record in Glasgow and took home a silver medal in the finals.

He became the first New Zealand man to win a Diamond League meet in Brussels in 2015 and then placed fourth at the World Championships in Beijing.

In 2016, he won the World Indoor Championships with a throw of 21.78m. This throw broke his own National and Oceania records.

Walsh competed in his first Olympics at Rio in 2016, winning a bronze medal. He was the first Kiwi man to win a medal in an Olympic field event in 88 years.

He became world number one in 2017 when he won gold at the World Athletics Championship in London with a throw of 22.03m. 

This made him New Zealand’s first ever athletics male world champion and only the third Kiwi ever, after world champions Beatrice Faumuina in discus and Dame Valerie Adams in shot put.

His outstanding performance in 2017 earned him the title of Sportsman of the Year at the Halberg Awards in February 2018.

Walsh now lives, trains and works part-time as a builder in Christchurch.