Shot put bronze up for grabs

July 31, 2017
Richards

 

On paper, it looks likely to be a battle between American duo Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs - the top two from the Rio Olympics last year - as the pair own the top nine marks in the world in 2017, half a metre clear of their nearest challenger.

First and second in the US Championships, Crouser set a personal best and championship record of 22.65m en-route to victory, whilst 2015 world champion Kovacs set a personal best of 22.57m in Arizona earlier this season. These performances have moved the pair to seventh and ninth respectively on the world all-time list.

So although a US one-two looks likely, the battle for bronze looks much more open. Third on the 2017 world list with 22.04m is last year's Olympic bronze medallist Tom Walsh, whilst the only other athlete over 22 metres in 2017 is Tomas Stanek, although the Czech athlete has yet to produce his best in the major championships.

Although arguably not in his best form so far in 2017 - his season's best being a mere 21.87m - given his major championships pedigree, it would be foolish to discount Germany's David Storl, the world champion from 2011 and 2013 and silver medallist two years ago.

Another athlete who despite not yet showing his best form in 2017 should not be ruled out based on his major championships record is Ryan Whiting of the US, twice the world indoor champion and world outdoor silver medallist from Moscow in 2013. Jamaica's O'Dayne Richards - the bronze medallist from 2015 - improved his national record this season throwing 21.96m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rabat.

Others likely to feature include another American, Darrell Hill, who has thrown a 21.91m personal best in 2017; Olympic fifth placer Darlan Romani of Brazil, another athlete in personal best form courtesy of his 21.82m from earlier in the season; New Zealand's twice world junior champion Jacko Gill; Poland's European indoor champion Konrad Bukowiecki; and Tsanko Arnaudov of Portugal. The latter two have both bettered 21.50m this year.

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