Fowler puts his sole into competition

Kieran Fowler shows the style that has made him a champion in the world of gumboot throwing....
Kieran Fowler shows the style that has made him a champion in the world of gumboot throwing. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
If you're driving past the Kaikorai Rugby Club in Dunedin and see a chap wielding a gumboot, it's most likely Kieran Fowler.

He is a gumboot throwing champion, his most recent success being at the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games in Palmerston North earlier this month.

He defended his title to win the Skellerup men's gumboot throwing championship, with a throw of 41.02m. Rowena Duncum, also of Dunedin, was third in the women's event.

Mr Fowler, a technical field officer for Farmlands, took up the sport late in 2017 and competed in the gumboot throwing world championships in Finland last year, finishing third.

Throwing stuff was not new to him; he has been Otago discus champion, and also twice represented his country in discus at the Youth World Championships and Junior World Championships.

Conditions were not ideal for throwing at the Rural Games, with a strong head wind, meaning distances reached were poor, he said.

This weekend, Mr Fowler is competing at the world championships, in Taihape. A large field was expected, from as far afield as Germany and Finland.

Throwing a gumboot was quite similar to throwing a discus. The hardest part was "getting a gumboot to fly properly''.

More than 30,000 people attended the Rural Games. He described it as a "huge'' event.

It was great to see townies enjoying the rural-themed events on offer, he said.

Nick Terry, of Waikouaiti, was sixth in the speed fencing championship and Brett Roberts (Mataura) was runner-up in the speed shearing championship.


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