Hornby shot-putter makes final at U20 World Champs

ON TARGET: Ryan Ballantyne finished eighth in the shot put final at the Under-20 world championships in Finland. Photo Athletics Canterbury.

Hornby shot-putter Ryan Ballantyne finished eighth at the IAAF world under-20 track and field championships in Finland

He qualified ninth for the final and managed a 19.39m throw in the decider to move up one place.

His best throw came in the second round, while three of his final four attempts were fouls.

The 19-year-old was the first of the Kiwi athletes at the championships to qualify for a final, but the shot-put qualification didn’t go as smoothly as he would have liked. The throw that got him to the final in ninth place was 19.03m and came on the last of his three attempts.

He had to wait until the second qualifying group had finished to find out if he had made the top 12 for the final. He made it by 14cm.

Ballantyne is committed to building on New Zealand’s blossoming throwing pedigree.

He moved to Christchurch from Waikato 18 months ago to work alongside indoor world and Commonwealth champion Tom Walsh and coach Dale Stevenson.

Fellow Canterbury athlete Chris Dryden was the last New Zealander in action on the first day of the championships, finishing 24th in the men’s 10,000m in a time of 31min 36.03sec.