Friday, June 18, 2021

The Shot Heard 'Round the World

This one had been brewing for a long time.

Ryan Crouser shattered the world shot put record with his prodigious 4th round throw of 76' 8 1/4" / 23.37 at today's US Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

Photo Credit: Tim Healy TrackTown USA

The Rio 2016 Olympic gold medalist, long seen as the heir apparent of the world shot put record, ended the suspense with a throw so perfect he was celebrating before it landed. Fellow competitors hugged him before the mark was posted. They knew.

"That's it right there!" screamed Payton Otterdahl while embracing Crouser. 

Photo Credit: Andy Eberhardt for Track Town USA

Crouser demolished the previous world record by 10". His performance was part of an epic competition in which there were 14 throws over 70'.

71-8 (21.84) got you only 5th! Just ask Shore AC's Josh Awotunde, whose personal best did just that.

Darrell Hill was a heartbreaking 4th by only 1", while Payton Otterdahl realized his early potential by making his first Olympic Team with his 5th round 71'11"/21.92 personal best to finish 3rd.

2019 World Champion Joe Kovacs had a remarkable no-foul 6-throw series in which each throw exceeded 70'. He gained a firm footing on second place with his 5th round 73-3 1/2/22.34 to make his second Olympic team. 

The US sends an exceptionally - historically - deep shot put team to the Olympic Games. 

Crouser had presaged his memorable mark with a Trials record 22.92/75-2.5 in the afternoon qualifying, his 2nd best throw ever.

Crouser's worldwide competitors should be worried. In thorough analysis of his technique today, Crouser was balanced in describing what he had done well and what he could do better.

However, he said, "...that was nowhere near the perfect throw."

~by Mark Cullen


  1. Wonderful to witness history and dispatch that dodgy previous record to the sidelines where it belongs. Throws Coaches will tell you that a number of records have been set by technically imperfect technique...hard to know what the lesson is ! I agree there is more to come. Mens Shot Put is riding a wave of incredible depth currently. Keep up the good work Mark !

  2. Thank you very much, Fin! I greatly appreciate your kind words and your taking the time to get in touch. With appreciation, Mark