Ryan Crouser in action in Des Moines (© Getty Images)
Olympic champion Ryan Crouser produced the 12th-best throw in history to win the shot put at the Drake Blue Oval Showcase, throwing 22.72m at the World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meeting in Des Moines on Saturday (29).
But more impressive than his winning mark was the fact that all six of Crouser’s throws landed well beyond 22 metres. In fact, his shortest heave was 22.27m, while his top four marks were beyond 22.60m.
He opened with 22.27m and then produced his best of the day, 22.72m, in the next round. He then came close to matching that with 22.70m in round four and followed it with 22.63m and 22.68m before rounding out his series with 22.44m.
Only one other athlete in history, Italy’s Alessandro Andrei with his world record series in Viareggio in 1987, has ever recorded six 22-metre throws in one series. Meanwhile, the average of Crouser’s throws today, 22.57m, is a mark that only 10 other men in history have achieved.
“I tried to set myself up for the world record today as best I could, but the big one will come,” said Crouser, who threw 22.91m in Marietta last month, just 21 centimetres shy of the world record. “I’m just happy to be here competing again.”
Nick Ponzio finished second on countback with 21.19m, the same mark as Payton Otterdahl. Ponzio’s second-best throw of 20.90m gave him the edge.
Fresh from a pair of victories on the European circuit, Lynna Irby won the 200m in a wind-assisted 22.52 (3.7m/s), finishing 0.17 ahead of Kyra Jefferson. Kayla White dashed to an 11.18 victory in the 100m while Kristina Knott of the Philippines set a national record of 11.27 in second.
Jeff Demps (10.09) and Josephus Lyles (20.32) won the men’s 100m and 200m respectively, while world silver medallist Sandi Morris won the pole vault with 4.65m.
The event also incorporated the US road mile championships. Sam Prakel won a close men’s race in 3:59 with Colby Alexander holding off Joe Klecker to take second place, both of them also clocking 3:59. The women’s race was more clear-cut with Emily Lipari winning in 4:30, almost two seconds ahead of Marisa Howard.
McSweyn leads spate of 5000m PBs in Gothenburg
Australia’s Stewart McSweyn was a convincing winner of the 5000m at the Gothenburg Grand Prix on Saturday (29), also a World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meeting, in a race in which 10 men set PBs.
The world finalist opened up seven seconds on compatriot Matthew Ramsden in the final stages, winning in a season’s best of 13:09.83, just four seconds shy of his PB. Ramsden’s 13:16.63 clocking, meanwhile, was a lifetime best.
McSweyn’s time is the fastest ever 5000m recorded in Gothenburg, bettering the 13:16.77 run by Kenya’s Ismael Kirui to win the 1995 world title over the distance.
Sweden’s Suldan Hassan (13:18.01) and Emil Millan de la Oliva (13:29.59) set national U23 and U20 records respectively, placing third and seventh.
Britain’s Daniel Rowden, back in action after missing the whole of 2019, was one of the surprise performers of the evening. The 22-year-old set a PB of 1:44.74 to win the men’s 800m from Swedish record-holder Andreas Kramer (1:45.34).
World silver medallist Raevyn Rogers took the women’s two-lap victory in 2:01.24 with British teenager Keely Hodgkinson placing second in a PB of 2:01.78.
Swedish jumpers were in fine form. Khaddi Sagnia won the women’s long jump with a wind-assisted 6.75m while Thobias Montler jumped a wind-legal 8.11m to take the men’s contest. Pole vaulter Angelica Bengtsson (4.53m) and high jumper Erika Kinsey (1.87m) were also victorious.
Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics