Ryan Crouser defends shot put gold with three Olympic records



Ryan Crouser defends shot put gold with three Olympic records

TOKYO – Arkansas volunteer assistant Ryan Crouser successfully defended his Olympic gold medal with a stellar performance that was capped with an Olympic record throw of 76 feet, 5 ½ inches (23.30), just three-quarters of an inch shy of the world record he set in June.

For the first time in Olympic history in any individual event the same three medalists from 2016 repeated their exact finish in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. American Joe Kovacs claimed silver with a toss of 74-3 ¾ (22.65) while Tomas Walsh of New Zealand earned bronze with a mark of 73-8 ¾ (22.47).

Crouser, who had improved his 2016 Olympic record to 73-10 ¾ (22.52) during the Tokyo qualifying round, promptly improved it to 74-11 (22.83) in the opening round as the seventh thrower among the field of 12. The next best effort in the first stanza was a 72-9 ¾ (22.19) by Kovacs.

In the second round, Crouser launched the shot put 75-2 ¾ (22.93) to set another Olympic record while the next best mark behind him was a 72-9 (22.17) by Walsh.

A mark of 75-0 (22.86) was produced by Crouser in round three. Then he became the eighth and last thrower for the following three rounds as the field of 12 was reduced to eight.

While Crouser didn’t improve in the fourth and fifth stanzas, he continued to surpass 73 feet with marks of 74-7 ¼ (22.74) and 73-11 ½ (22.54).

Meanwhile, Kovacs improved to 74-3 ¾ in round four while Walsh registered his top mark in round six.

Down the final throw of the competition, Crouser delivered his massive throw of 76-5 ½ to cap a successful defense of his Rio Olympic gold medal. In doing so, he became just the fourth person to win consecutive Olympic shot put titles.

It’s previously been accomplished by Tomasz Majewski of Poland (2008, 2012), Parry O’Brien of United States (1952, 1956), and American Ralph Rose (1904, 1908).

The amazing series generated by Crouser in the final, and including his one throw in the qualifying round, means he now has seven of the top nine marks in Olympic history. Kovacs has two of the marks among the top nine with his runner-up effort and a final round 74-1 ¾ (22.60).

In the men’s 4×100 relay prelims, Denmark placed seventh in a national record of 38.16, but the foursome running didn’t include Razorback Kris Hari, who was injured in a recent training session. Overall, Denmark ranked 10th among the 16 teams that competed.

Olympic shot put all-time ranking | Ryan Crouser series | OR – Olympic Record

4 | OR 74-11 (22.83)

2 | OR 75-2 ¾ (22.93)

3 | 75-0 (22.86)

5 | 74-7 ¼ (22.74)

8 | 73-11 ½ (22.54)

1 | OR 76-5 ½ (23.30)

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