The Wesche family are after a few dog sitters in August 2024 as a family contingent aims to be at the Paris Olympics watching their beloved shot put star, Maddi Wesche.

“About 20 of my family are planning on coming,” laughs Wesche. “We need three people to look after the dogs.”

“No one wants to miss out, including me.”

Fresh off the 2023 International season, Wesche is back into full time base training following her 7th place finish at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

A 1cm personal best in the final to finish with 19.51m meant she finished in the same position as the 2022 World Championships in Oregon (where she threw 19.50m in the final).

“Everyone wants a personal best. But everyone wants more than 1 cm,” reflects Wesche who was at her third World Championship, this one won by American Chase Ealey with a throw of 20.43m.

Wesche, 24, is reluctantly happy with her performance indicating that she had hoped for a better distance with technical improvements and strength gains made over the past year.

Conditions in Budapest were hot – something that in the qualification rounds Wesche took a while to get a handle on.

“I was eating ice, drinking ice drinks but it was so sticky and hot. It was not unexpected but it was more challenging that I thought it would be with long breaks between throws.”

Heading into an Olympic year, Wesche who finished 5th in Tokyo in her trademark sunglasses, is determined to improve on her last major championship outings.

By her own admission she needs to be a little bit faster in the shot put circle and stronger to throw the 4kg ball but also acknowledges she needs to compete in competitions that will give her more challenge.

Not seen at Diamond League meetings, Wesche hopes to get a start next year at the premier athletics meetings in the international calendar.

“I need to compete against women of a high calibre more often to be throwing far more consistently. I absolutely want to be at Diamond Leagues next year.”

Her first major competition in the lead into Paris will be at the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow in March nestled in the thick of the New Zealand domestic season.

Wesche is a proven performer at major championships, setting personal bests at pinnacle events ever since she clutched the 2018 World Junior Title in Finland.

Wesche at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, where she placed 5th. Photo: Getty Images

Her ability to stay “cool, calm and happy” in her own words is something she aims for in her throwing to be able to produce her best – and by her own admission she thrives on competition.

In the sixth and final round in a shot put final Wesche reminds herself she has nothing to lose.

“Usually I don’t have any competitions after, so if I break myself in the last throw it’s not going to be the end of the world,” she laughs.

Before the World Championships, Wesche’s coach, Dr Mike Schofield, relocated from Auckland to Hawkes Bay, meaning while the two will continue to work together they will do so mainly remotely and join forces for training camps.

“I love the Hawkes Bay, the training environment and the atmosphere they’ve created at the Mitre10 Sports Park. It will be good to mix it up away from Auckland and spend time training there in the build-up to Paris,” Wesche says.

The part time psychology student is part of the illustrious New Zealand shot put history – including former Olympic and World Champion Dame Valerie Adams, Olympic Medallist and former World Champion Tom Walsh and Former World Junior Champion and Tokyo Olympian Jacko Gill.

“It’s cool to be part of the rich history of our event and fly the flag for New Zealand.”

“It’s not lost on me, the legacy of this event for our country.”

Wesche who holidayed after Budapest in Turkey with her Mum, sister and friend, says she loves the ability to travel as an athlete.

“I never would have dreamed some of the places I’ve been to through my sport.”

Ultimately, it’s the deep desire to be the best that gets Wesche out of bed.

“I have a team that gets me to competitions but ultimately I’m on my own in the arena. I love that aspect of athletics – the pursuit of seeing how far I can throw.”

The Olympics’ Stade de France will be Wesche’s big arena next year and she won’t be on her own – all going to plan with her family in the stands.

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