World Champs Men’s Shot — The 75-Foot Barrier Battered

Joe Kovacs’ PR of 75-2 led a record 3 men joining the 75-foot club. (KEVIN MORRIS)

“THIS COULD rate as the event of the meet,” we said in the September issue’s Doha Preview… you be the judge. Favored Kiwi Tom Walsh joined the 75-foot club, reaching 75-1¾ (22.90)—and he got bronze. American Ryan Crouser joined the club by hitting the same distance—and he got silver. Teammate Joe Kovacs became the third new member of the exclusive club, plopping his ball down at 75-2 (22.91)—and yes, he got the gold. And have a thought for Brazil’s Darlan Romani, who almost unbelievably reached 73-11 (22.53) and didn’t make it to the podium. Nor did third American Darrell Hill at 71-½ (21.65) as 7 men cracked 70ft (21.34) in the same meet for the first time ever. How all this played out was chock-full of drama.

Round 1: as the first putter, reigning Olympic champion Crouser upped the meet record to 73-4½ (22.36). Defending world champ Walsh ended the sequence with his huge 75-1¾ (22.90) to take the lead. Kovacs was down in 6th at 68-7 (20.90).

Round 2: Crouser fouled and found himself supplanted in the silver spot when Romani reached his 73-11 (22.53). Walsh had a 74-foot foul. Kovacs improved to 70-11¾ (21.63) to move to 4th.

Round 3: Crouser matched his first-round 73-4½ (22.36) to remain in the bronze slot. No improvements for Romani, Kovacs or Walsh (a second foul in a row), but Hill got his best of the day, 71-½ (21.65), to drop Kovacs back to 5th.

The throwing order then changed for round 4: with a great yell, Kovacs improved again, his 72-¼ (21.95) causing him to swap spots with Hill. No improvement for Hill and it was Crouser’s turn. Despite improving to 74-6¼ (22.71) and passing Romani for silver, the Oregon native was clearly displeased with the throw, slapping his hands together. Walsh was again close to 74ft, but couldn’t stay in the ring.

Round 5: Walsh had another 74-ish put called a foul, an assessment he protested fairly vigorously, although only briefly. Later in the meet the call was overturned, but there were no improvements by anyone, so for the final round the medal positions belonged to Walsh, Crouser & Romani.

Out of the blue—Kovacs! His 75-2 (22.91) stunned everyone. Romani fouled, bringing up Crouser, now back to bronze again. Boom! A 75-1¾ (22.90) of his own, equaling arch-rival Walsh, but based on second throws, it raised the American into silver status again. Walsh wrapped it up with another 74-range foul and one of the most spectacular field event competitions ever was over. Leaving hardcore fans of the event wanting a round 7, and 8 and…

Said Kovacs, who is coached by his wife, Ashley, “It is a time to celebrate. Coming to this competition, I was hoping for a new PR and then I saw Ryan throwing far, the others throwing far, I just cannot be happier to get the gold medal. This everyday hard work, it just paid off. This is definitely a final which made history.”

For his part, Crouser said, “It was an unbelievable competition with a lot of fireworks in the round 6. This final was crazy and I am so happy to be part of it.” He added, “I wanted gold but to see Joe throw a personal best on his last throw, I can’t complain. Across the board it was unbelievably deep. I cannot be disappointed about silver. I think I would not have thrown 22.90 if I hadn’t seen Joe throwing 22.91.”


WC MEN’S SHOT RESULTS

FINAL

(October 05) (temperature 81F/27C; humidity 71%)

1. Joe Kovacs (US) 75-2 (22.91) (WL, AL) (=2, =2 W; 1, 1 A) (inferior to ratified AR 75-10¼/23.12 Randy Barnes [Maz] ’90 that T&FN doesn’t carry on lists);

(68-7, 70-11¾, 69-8¼, 72-¼, 71-11¾, 75-2) (20.90, 21.63, 21.24, 21.95, 21.94, 22.91);

2. Ryan Crouser (US) 75-1¾ (22.90) PR (4, 4 W; 2, 2 A)

(73-4½, f, 73-4½, 74-6¼ [x, 10 W; x, 4 A], f, 75-1¾ [=4, =4 W]) (22.36, f, 22.36, 22.71, f, 22.90);

3. Tom Walsh (NZ) 75-1¾ (22.90) NR (=4, 4 W)

(75-1¾ [WL] [3, 3 W], f, f, f, 74-¼, f) (22.90, f, f, f, 22.56, f);

4. Darlan Romani (Bra) 73-11 (22.53)

(70-10¾, 73-11, 72-3½, 72-7¼, f, f) (21.61, 22.53, 22.03, 22.13, f, f);

5. Darrell Hill (US) 71-½ (21.65)

(67-6¼, 70-1¾, 71-½, f, 69-8, f) (20.58, 21.38, 21.65, f, 21.23, f);

6. Konrad Bukowiecki (Pol) 70-5 (21.46)

(68-¼, 70-5, f, 66-9¾, f, f) (20.73, 21.46, f, 20.36, f, f);

7. Jacko Gill (NZ) 70-4½ (21.45)

(70-3, 69-9½, 68-½, f, 68-11¼, 70-4½) (21.41, 21.27, 20.74, f, 21.01, 21.45);

8. Chuk Enekwechi (Ngr) 69-6 (21.18)

(69-6, f, 68-7, 68-10, 67-6¾, 68-11¼) (21.18, f, 20.90, 20.98, 20.59, 21.01);

9. Tim Nedow (Can) 68-5 (20.85)

(f, 67-3¼, 68-5) (f, 20.50, 20.85);

10. Tomáš Staněk (CzR) 68-2½ (20.79)

(67-7½, 68-2½, 67-1½) (20.61, 20.79, 20.46);

11. Filip Mihaljević (Cro) 67-2¼ (20.48)

(66-8½, 66-10½, 67-2¼) (20.33, 20.38, 20.48);

… 3f—Armin Sinančević (Ser).

(best-ever marks-for-place: 2-4, 6–7, 9) (first meet with 7 over 70)

first 3 rounds
* = progression of the leading throw
¶ = athlete’s best of the day
Crouser 22.36* f 22.36
Staněk 20.61 20.79¶ 20.46
Mihaljević 20.33 20.38 20.48¶
Romani 21.61 22.53¶ 22.03
Sinančević f f f
Hill 20.58 21.38 21.65¶
Kovacs 20.90 21.63 21.24
Gill 21.41 21.27 20.74
Nedow f 20.50 20.85¶
Bukowiecki 20.73 21.46¶ f
Enekwechi 21.18¶ f 20.90
Walsh 22.90*¶ f f
rounds 4 & 5
Enekwechi 20.98 20.59
Gill f 21.01
Bukowiecki 20.36 f
Kovacs 21.95 21.94
Hill f 21.23
Crouser 22.71 f
Romani 22.13 f
Walsh f 22.56
last round
Enekwechi 21.01
Gill 21.45¶
Bukowiecki f
Hill f
Kovacs 22.91*¶
Romani f
Crouser 22.90¶
Walsh f

QUALIFYING

(October 03; auto-qualifier 68-7/20.90)

Qualifiers: Walsh 71-11 (21.92), Romani 71-2 (21.69), Crouser 71-1¼ (21.67), Sinančević 70-7 (21.51) PR, Hill 69-8¾ (21.25), Bukowiecki 69-5¼ (21.16), Gill 69-3½ (21.12), Staněk 68-11¾ (21.02), Mihaljević 68-10¾ (21.00), Nedow 68-8½ (20.94), Enekwechi 68-8½ (20.94), Kovacs 68-7¾ (20.92).

Non-qualifiers: Leonardo Fabbri (Ita) 68-1 (20.75) (farthest non-Q ever), Mostafa Amer Hassan (Egy) 67-5¼ (20.55), Jakub Szyszkowski (Pol) 67-5¼ (20.55), Michał Haratyk (Pol) 67-4 (20.52), Andrei Gag (Rom) 67-3¼ (20.50), Tejinder Pal Singh (Ind) 67-½ (20.43), Wictor Petersson (Swe) 66-7¾ (20.31), Mesud Pezer (Bos) 66-2¼ (20.17), Eldred Henry (BVI) 66-½ (20.13), O’Dayne Richards (Jam) 65-10¼ (20.07), Denzel Comenentia (Hol) 65-8¾ (20.03), Orazio Cremona (SA) 65-6¾ (19.98), Hamza Mohamed (Egy) 65-4 (19.91), Bob Bertemes (Lux) 65-3¼ (19.89), Asmir Kolašinac (Ser) 65-2 (19.86), Maksim Afonin (Rus) 65-½ (19.82), Franck Elemba (Con) 64-10 (19.76), Ivan Ivanov (Kaz) 64-8¾ (19.73), Aleksandr Lesnoy (Rus) 64-4½ (19.62), Francisco Belo (Por) 64-½ (19.52), Kemal Mešić (Bos) 63-11½ (19.49), Uziel Muñoz (Mex) 62-6½ (19.06).

(best-ever-Q-round mark-for-place: 9–12)

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