US shot putter Ryan Whiting (Getty Images) © Copyright

Personal bests – Ryan Whiting

Two-time world indoor champion Ryan Whiting has proved he is one of the giants of the shot put circle in recent years.

Here the US thrower offers us a flavour of some of the best things in his world.

My best achievement in athletics

I think my greatest achievement in athletics is striking world indoor gold at Istanbul 2012. I feel like this meet really kick-started my career with a win and a PB.

The best piece of coaching advice

My best piece of coaching advice is that every coach has something to offer. Don't get set in your ways and think only one system works for everyone. Stay flexible and learn from anyone who is willing to teach.

My greatest rival

My greatest rival is David Storl of Germany (the 2011 and 2013 world champion). The past few years we have had a lot of great head-to-heads and I think this will continue in the future.

The best athletics venue

Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon is the best track and field venue. As a Pac 12 (his collegiate conference when he was a student at Arizona State University) and US athlete, this place feels like home turf to me.

My best friend in athletics

This is a tough one. There are quite a few. All of the shot putters in general get along. I would say Reese (Hoffa, the 2007 world champion) and Christian (Cantwell, the 2009 world champion) and my mate from Timaru in New Zealand, Tom Walsh (the 2014 world indoor bronze medallist).

My greatest disappointment

The London 2012 Olympics. After winning in Istanbul, I suffered a small injury to my elbow. This led to a huge let down at London 2012. The experience was awesome, but the result was hugely disappointing (Whiting finished ninth).

The best pre-competition song

This one is tough. I don't listen to music before competitions so it is hard to say. The songs I have picked to play in Zurich while throwing have been Radioactive by Imagine Dragons and Duel of the Fates from Star Wars.

My greatest regret

This one is hard as I have no real regrets. I went to school where I wanted. I have the job I want and I love my family and friends.

My greatest indulgence

Probably fantasy (American) football. My family has a league and so do the professional shot putters. We take it pretty seriously and spend way too much time doing it.

My best achievement outside of athletics

My son Charlie, he is awesome and I can't imagine my life without him now that he is here.

My best throw

So far, I would have to say my 2008 indoor collegiate record (of 21.73m achieved when winning the NCAA indoor title). For my strength levels at that point, that throw surprised me. I think my best throws are ahead of me.

The best athlete I have ever seen

Probably Koji Murofushi, from Japan (the 2004 Olympic hammer champion and 2011 world champion). Some of the things I have seen him do or heard of him doing are unbelievable to me.

Steve Landells for the IAAF