Another strong field has been announced for the 2022 Prefontaine Classic, the third stop in the 2022 Wanda Diamond League series as the meeting organizers continue to build another world-class lineup this year.
Fans can expect a lot of firework in the men’s shot put on Saturday, 28 May, with the field including the top five finalists from the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.
American super star Ryan Crouser will be returning to Hayward Field at the University of Oregon after breaking the world record with his 23.37-meter (76-8.25) throw at last year’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
The Oregon native broke the indoor shot put world record in 2021 as well. Crouser took gold in his first Olympic Games in 2016 and was the first American to defend his shot put title in 65 years by winning gold again at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Crouser’s shot put success has been paralleled by US teammate Joe Kovacs. Kovacs took gold at the 2019 World Athletics Championships with a throw of 22.91 (75-2) while Crouser followed closely behind. Kovacs also defended his Olympic medals in 2016 and 2020 with silver medals at both Games.
Tomas Walsh ready to renew rivalry with Kovacs and Crouser
Tomas Walsh of New Zealand will also be competing in the shot put. Walsh joined Kovacs and Crouser on the podium at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics with his bronze medals. His consistency with coming in third carried him through to the World Indoor Championships in March, where he came in third again behind Crouser’s second.
Brazilian athlete Darlan Romani is one to watch at the Pre Classic. Romani may have just barely missed the podium at the 2020 Olympic Games with a fourth place throw of 21.31 (69-11), but he had a strong indoor season in 2022. With a throw of 22.53 (73-11), Romani beat out Crouser and took gold in the World Athletics Indoor Championships in March.
US Olympian Darrell Hill, Italian Olympian Zane Weir, and American Josh Awotunde round out the field. Hill is a 2016 Olympian and narrowly missed the US team last year after coming in fourth at the Olympic Trials. Weir is the Italian national shot put champion and finished fifth in the Olympic final last summer. Awotunde finished fifth at the Olympic Trials and the Pre Classic in 2021.