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Loaded shot put field hunts 3 Tokyo spots at U.S. Olympic Trials

Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs lead a top-class men’s Shot Put field at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials this week, as the battle for Tokyo places begin.

Joe Kovacs, Ryan Crouser and Darrell Hill in action the men's shot put at the 2019 USATF Championships

A fully loaded men’s Shot Put field will bow into action at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, on Friday, in the battle for three places to the Tokyo Games. The USATF Championships will run from June 18-27. The first part of the trials will take place from June 18–21 before pausing and resuming on June 24 before ending on the 27th.

Olympic champion Ryan Crouser head into the championships as the favorite, following a very fruitful indoor campaign, which saw him breaking the world indoor record, backed up by an already dominant outdoor season so far.

The men’s first round of the shot put will begin at 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET on Friday, with the final slated for 6:30 pm PT / 9:30 pm ET.

Day 1: 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials How To Watch Live, Starting Lists

Crouser who leads the world with a throw of 23.01 meters, which is ranked No. 3 all-time, is set to face-off against world champion Joe Kovacs who is ranked No. 2 in the world this season with 22.72m, and world championships finalist Darrell Hill who comes in with a seasonal best mark of 22.34m and ranked No. 3 on the top list for 2021.

Josh Awotunde and Payton Otterdahl are also entering the trials in good form and are expected to be among the top throwers in the battle for the top three places, while David Pless, who has not competed outdoors since 2019, is also entered in the event.

Ryan Crouser of USA reacts to making a big throw

Crouser vs Kovacs Head-to-Head

Even with a loaded field, I believe the frontrunners for the national title are Crouser and Kovacs. To date, the two have 30 competitive head-to-head battles with Crouser dominating the showdowns 24-6. The two world-class throwers have met once thus far this season at the USATF Throws Fest in Tucson, Arizona, on May 22, with the reigning Olympic champion coming out on top by almost a one meter margin.

Meanwhile, the field also includes USC’s Matthew Katnik, Michigan’s Andrew Liskowitz and John Meyer, Jordan Geist of Arizona, and T’Mond Johnson.

Gary Smith is one of the leading writers for He has over 20 years of running experience, as well as 12 years of coaching while covering several events, from the international to college level. Smith, who has covered events for publications such as Caribbean Net News, European Athletics, Cayman Net News, AFP, and Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), is also a frequent contributor of and Smith holds a degree in Communication and Journalism. Twitter | LinkedIn | News Break Writer

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