Report12 Mar 2010

2010 World Indoor Championships men's shot put final


Christian Cantwell of USA on his way to winning the gold medal in the Shot Put final (© Getty Images)

We should never have doubted him. In the greatest shot put competition in World Indoor Championship history Christian Cantwell became the first ever three-time champion, courtesy of a spectacular sixth round 21.83m effort.

In a thrilling competition which swung between the giant American and the Belarussian Andrei Miknevich, it was Cantwell that had the final say.

The 29-year-old has now won the 2004, 2008 and 2010 World Indoor titles and is also the World outdoor champion, but he was pushed every inch of the way by the gutsy Miknevich, whose best effort of 21.68m in round five had briefly set him en route to gold.

Behind the lead pair there was much to be admired. Ralf Bartels smashed his personal best with 21.44m in round two to take bronze - surprisingly the first medal in the unified era won by Germany.

In fourth Dylan Armstrong of Canada set a national record 21.39m and in fifth Tomasz Majewski, the Olympic champion, posted a Polish record of 21.20m.

As a measure of the high quality of competition it was the first time in the 25-year history of the World Indoor Championships that five men went beyond the 21m mark.

The pre-event indoor form had pointed to a likely battle between Cantwell, the World leader, and Mikhnevich, the World No.2, who set a new national record of 21.81m last month, and so it proved.

The mood was set for a high-class competition when Majewski set his Polish record of 21.20m with his opening throw and with the next effort of the competition Armstrong bettered his own Canadian mark with 21.12m.

If that wasn't enough, then Cantwell further enhanced the quality of the competition to move into the gold medal position after round one with a splendid 21.60m. Mikhnevich made a relatively modest start with 20.81m for fourth.

In round two Bartels, the European champion, made a big move into silver adding 0.01 on to his personal best with 21.44m. Mikhevich, meanwhile edged into the bronze medal position with 21.20m (he had a superior second throw to Majewski). Cantwell fouled.

In round three the Belarussian, who landed the world outdoor title in 2003, nudged up a place into silver with 21.47m while Cantwell had to be content with 'only' 21.07m.

Round four saw no further progress for the top two, although the consistency remained unerring; Cantwell (21.13m) and Mikhnevich (21.10m).

The penultimate round, though, served up a curve ball or two. Armstrong further enhanced his Canadian record with 21.39m - within 0.05 of the bronze medal position.

Cantwell throwing one position in front of his Belarus rival, achieved 21.14m, but Mikhnevich hit it with huge force to 21.68m to shift into the gold medal position. Could he hold on?

Cantwell, however, remains a hugely impressive competitor and was equal to the challenge. Remaining calm, composed but fully focused the American a self-confessed 'sore loser' hit the metal ball out to 21.83m with his final attempt to re-take the lead.

This time Mikhnevich could not respond, although his 21.45m sixth round effort was more than respectable. There was no change behind with Bartels adding World indoor bronze to the same colour medal he won last summer at the World outdoor championships.

Steve Landells for the IAAF

In March 2013, World Athletics announced that re-tests of doping samples from the 2005 outdoor World Championships had revealed adverse findings for six athletes including Mikhnevich. The case concluded the following July with the annulment of all of the Belarusian’s results from August 5, 2005. Bartels moved up to silver and Armstrong bronze.





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