DARLAN ROMANI stole the Pre Classic’s shot show with one of the best series in history: 71-0, 71-11, 73-8¼, 73-11¾, 74-2¼, 73-4¾ (21.64, 21.92, 22.46, 22.55, 22.61, 22.37) averaging 73-½ (22.26), almost a foot beyond his PR coming in. His massive fifth-rounder launched him to No. 9 on the all-time list and put paid to any plans of a showdown between Ryan Crouser and Tom Walsh. “My God!” exclaimed the 28-year-old Brazilian, 5th at the ’16 OG and 4th at the ’17 WC, when informed of his new lofty status. “There’s no words to describe what I’m feeling.”
Coming into the meet, 8 of the 9 entrants had lifetime bests of 22-meters (72-2¼) or farther. Romani ranked No. 7 in PRs, and claimed the No. 5 spot on the yearly world list. Not anymore. Now he’s No. 2 in both. Only Crouser’s 74-7¼ (22.74) at Long Beach in April is farther than Romani’s thunderous throw this year. “We respect each other,” Romani says of his big brethren. “I respect them a lot. We are all trying to get better and also help one another, so today was my day.” Was it ever.
How Good was Romani at Pre?
•He is now No. 3 among active throwers; he trails only Crouser and Walsh.
•On the all-time list, he’s ahead of a few putters you may have heard of: Joe Kovacs, Christian Cantwell, Adam Nelson, Darrell Hill, Reese Hoffa, Ryan Whiting, Dylan Armstrong, & John Godina.
•Each of his throws in rounds 3-4-5 launched him ever higher on the all-time list. He came in as =No. 29, then subsequently climbed No. 13, No. 11 & No. 9.
•Overall, he upped his PR by a remarkable 2-feet even (0.61).
•His first 5 throws were, consecutively, his farthest of the day—each one farther than the one before.
•His final-round 73-4¾ (22.37), his fourth-best of the day, would have placed him No. 2 on the yearly list behind only Crouser. That’s how deep his series was.
•His shortest throw was his first, 71-0 (21.64).
•All 6 throws were fair; only Walsh joined Romani in that accomplishment.
The 6-0/280 (1.83/127) Romani demurred with humor when asked how much he bench presses. “No, no, no, no!” he exclaimed, as if protecting a state secret. Former WR holder Al Feuerbach said on Facebook he had heard of 2 reps at 300kg (660lb). Feuerbach was a glider, of course, but remains a student of the event and said of Romani’s spin form, “He simply had no obvious flaws. Whew!”
An old-car aficionado, Romani is starting a bus company in Brazil, but what he likes most is spending time with his wife and young daughter. They were unable to make the trip to Palo Alto, said Romani, but “in Brazil everyone is watching!”
How does his Pre performance affect his plans for Doha? “More pressure now!” But of the most welcome kind. ◻︎