US shot put star Ryan Crouser shatters 31-year world record

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US shot put star Ryan Crouser shatters 31-year world record

US Olympic champion Ryan Crouser’s has shattered the shot put world record that has stood for 31 years.

The 28-year-old defending champion easily won the US track and field trials, finally beating the record that had stood since May 20, 1990 and had long been his goal in the sport.

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But the star from Portland, Oregon didn’t just beat the record, he smashed it.

Randy Barnes’ previous world record was 23.12m, but Crouser’s new mark is 23.37m — 25cm past the previous mark.

It comes after Crouser beat Barnes indoor world record of 22.66m set in 1989 with a 22.82m throw in January of this year.

Ryan Crouser was pleased with his work.Source: Getty Images

Barnes was handed a lifetime ban in 1998 after testing positive to anabolic steroids.

But Crouser also has the chance to do one better than Barnes and become in the first American to defend his gold medal in shot put at the Olympics since Parry O’Brien in 1952 and 1956.

“I’ve known it’s possible, and that almost makes it more difficult,” Crouser said. “I’ve known it’s possible for four-plus years now. I felt like I was 10 pounds lighter as soon as that went up on the leaderboard. I didn’t realise how much that had been weighing on me.”

Crouser win gold in Rio but was the silver medallist at the 2019 world championships in Doha, just 1cm behind countryman Joe Kovacs.

Kovacs, who finished with silver in Rio, praised Crouser’s achievement.

“Any time somebody’s able to throw that far, it’s good for the sport,” he said. “It’s good for publicity. It’s good that everybody else who is going to watch the Olympics, there’s an event to watch, it’s the shot put. And you guys should all tune in for it.”

Crouser had long been hunting down the record with a 23.01m throw last month.

In qualifying earlier Friday, Crouser again signalled he was in prime form after a hefty 22.92 heave — the fifth longest throw in history.

In Friday night’s final, Crouser took his time, warming up with throws of 22.61, 22.55 and 22.73.

Then with his fourth throw of the final, he unleashed a monster throw to claim the world record in style.

Ryan Crouser is on track to be the first American to go back to back in shot put at the Olympics in 65 years.Source: AFP

He knew as soon as he let it go, putting his hands in the air in celebration as the shot flew through the air.

That throw gave him victory, with old rival Joe Kovacs, the 2019 world champion, finishing second with a throw of 22.34.

Payton Otterdahl was third with a throw of 21.92.

Asked if he was satisfied with knocking Barnes out of the history books, Crouser was proud to say it was a “clean” world record.

“It’s a difficult question to answer,” Crouser said. “The sport has changed so much since then. Drug testing has cleaned up the sport exponentially. All I can say is with the regimen of drug testing we go through, I’m happy to say the world record is under the current system. It’s changed a lot. Nothing against the former world record holder. It was a different time in track and field. It’s awesome that we have a 100 per cent world record in the shot put now.”

with AFP

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