Despite not having appeared in any international tournament since he won the world youth title in Italy seven years ago, the gigantic US putter Ryan Crouser held his nerve and unleashed the four finest attempts of the night, culminating in a 22.52m effort in the fifth round, to win the gold medal.
Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Men’s Shot Put
Rapidly establishing his dominance, Crouser outpaced the opposition. In his first attempt, he threw a very respectable 21.15 metres, but a few throws later, Franck Elemba of Congo set a new national record with a 21.20-meter putt.
The crowd then watched as Joe Kovacs, a teammate of Crouser’s and the 2015 world champion, threw the Shot Put to 21.78m in the tenth position in the opening rotation.
After that, Crouser went back into the circle for a second time, this time turning around and propelling his implement out to a new personal best of 22.22m.
In the third round, he threw for 22.26 metres, four centimetres more than his previous best, and in the fourth round, he threw for 21.93 metres, his personal best.
In the fifth round, Kovacs, who had not improved on his first put, produced a huge attempt that could have claimed the lead but was called a foul due to his heel catching the stop of the stop board. This served as a reminder to Crouser that the competition was not yet finished.
Crouser won the competition with a final-round throw of 22.52 metres, five centimetres farther than the previous Olympic record held by Ulf Timmermann since the 1988 Games.
Once a US one-two finish was certain, the last round was essentially anti-climatic because neither Crouser nor Kovacs could improve their previous marks of 21.74m and 21.35m, respectively. Thanks for reading our article Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Men’s Shot Put.