Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs led the qualifiers advancing to the final of the men’s Shot Put on the first day at the 2021 U.S. Olympic track and field trials at Hayward Field, here in Eugene, Oregon, on Friday. The pair were the top two throwers in the qualifying round and they opted to pass on their third throw to save their energy for the final.
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The competition which started with 24 competitors, split into two different flights and contested in two separate rings, was eventually trimmed in half for the final which will take place at 9:30 pm ET tonight.
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Olympic champion and world-leader Crouser was in a spirited form from the opening round of the competition on Friday after heaving the iron ball to a meeting record of 22.92m (75-2 ½) to secure his place in the deciding round.
The 28-year-old also had a heave of 22.64m in the second round before smartly opting to pass on his final attempt.
Crouser’s effort in the qualifying round saw him breaking the previous meeting record of 22.12m, set by Adam Nelson on July 15, 2000.
Kovacs Also Books Final Place
Meanwhile, world champion Joe Kovacs advanced to the final of the event with a mark of 21.81m, which he achieved in the second round of qualifying. The gold medalist at the Doha 2019 world championships had put out 20.94m in round one.
Josh Awotunde was third best qualifier with a throw of 21.00m, and he only took one attempt before shutting things down to save up his energy for the busy part of the competition later this evening.
Tripp Piperi of Texas, the runner-up at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last week, also here at Hayward Field, qualified fourth best after throwing his best mark this season at 20.77m, as four collegiate athletes advanced to the final tonight.
Also returning tonight for the final later are Payton Otterdahl, and Darrell Hill, while Andrew Liskowitz of Michigan, Arizona’s Jordan Geist and Darius King from Northern Iowa, were the collegiate athletes joining Piperi in the final.