Eugene, Oregon – World and home record for Ryan Crouser, born in Portland, Oregon, and new shot put master in Eugene, same state. It was in the air after constant bombardment, now it’s reality: Ryan, 28, a giant 2.01 by 130 kilos (or is it 145?), Looking like an old comic book hero, lumberjack Lil Abner, sends the ball from 7 pounds and a quarter to 23.37 meters, twenty five centimeters over 23.12 dated 1990 (Crouser was born two years later) and controversial by Randy Barnes who passed the doping test unscathed after the primacy but fell at the next check and ended his career with a lifetime ban.
“It was about transmitting the energy I felt inside me to the ball: I succeeded”, comments Ryan who in the renovated Hayward Field, home of the Olympic Trials, offered a range of treble: 22.92 in qualification, at 9 cm from its previous limit, and six hours later, in the final, 22.61, 22.55, 22.73. The cannon shot came in the fourth round: 23.37. Then a null evaluated around 23 and 22.62: average of throws, 22.77. Joe Kovacs, world champion, landed the ball at 22.34, more than a meter. Third ticket to Tokyo snatched by Payton Otterdahl, 21.92. Darrell Hill and Josh Awotunde, 21.89 and 21.84 will stay at home. Ryan has collected 133 jumps over 22 meters and two over 23 and can wear, with all rights, the RC23s made for him by Nike. He is followed, at 40, by an athlete from the past, East German Ulf Timmermann.
“I wanted it for a long time and it was beginning to be a burden I was carrying”, says the young man XXXL who represents the latest product of a family that cultivates the religion of throwing: his father Mitch was a high-level discus thrower, uncle Brian javelin with two Olympic selections, the other uncle Dean weightlifting and discus thrower and cousins Sam and Haley javelinists. Olympic champion in Rio just over 23 years old, Ryan was the protagonist at the Doha World Championships in the most sensational race in history: three athletes in ten millimeters. Title to Kovacs, a human mortar, with 22.91, second Crouser with 22.90, third the New Zealander Tom Walsh, same measure and in the lead before the final big blows of the two Americans. The consecutive Olympic double, which was only achieved by Parry O’Brien in ’52 -’56 and the Pole Tomasz Majewski in 2008-2012, is close, almost obvious.
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