Americans Chase Ealey and Ryan Crouser head into the World Athletics Championships 2022 in Oregon as the favorites to sweep the women’s and men’s titles and based on form, not too many people will bet against that happening.
The qualification round of the women’s Shot Put in on the opening day of competition on Friday 15 July with the final taking place on Saturday (16). Meanwhile, the men’s qualification contest will also take place on Friday, but the final will be held on Sunday (17).Embed from Getty Images
Will Ryan Crouser finally overcome World Championships humps?
On the men’s side, Crouser enters the event as the world leader after heaving 23.12m to win at the USATF Outdoor Championships 2022 on 24 June, while he is a two-time Olympic champion and world record holder.
However, the 29-year-old will be aiming to win his first world title after finishing second in Doha in 2019 and was also beaten to the gold medal at the World Indoor Championships this past March in Serbia. Timetable | world rankings | 2022 world list | world all-time list
His countryman Joe Kovacs who sits second in the world this year with a mark of 22.87m, will start the competition as the defending champion, having defeated Crouser in Qatar three-years-ago when he produced a throw of 22.91m in the final round to edge out his teammate who did 22.90m in the last round as well.
The pair will lead the American charge on home soil at Hayward Field, but several others are capable of stealing the spotlight if the home favorites are not at their best. Read more: World Athletics Championships 2022 – Javelin Throw Preview
Among those leading the challengers is the 2017 world champion Tom Walsh of New Zealand who won the bronze medal behind the American pair in Tokyo last summer.
Walsh, a two-time World Indoor champion also picked up third place behind Kovacs and Crouser at the last World Athletics Championships in Doha in 2019. So far this season, the 30-year-old has a best of 22.31m.
Also expected to challenge for a medal is the World Indoor champion Darlan Romani of Brazil who defeated Crouser in Serbia during the winter championship. The 31-year-old finished fourth in Doha and also missed out on a medal in Tokyo when finishing in the same position again.
In-form Chase Ealey favored to win women’s title?
On the women’s side, Chase Ealey who finished seventh in 2019 heads into the championships in the form of her life and she is expecting to do something special at Hayward Field. Timetable | world rankings | 2022 world list | world all-time list
The American champion leads the world with a personal best of 20.51m and also has a 20.48m performance from her last meeting at the Diamond League event in Stockholm at the end of last month.
Although based on current form Ealey, who has won six straight finals since losing at the World Indoors, is the athlete to beat, you can never overlook Gong Lijiao, the two-time defending world champion.
Gong who also won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year, has only competed once in 2022 –throwing a best of 18.40m at a home meet on 6 May.
The 33-year-old from China is competing in her eighth straight World Athletics Championships and has won a record six medals in the women’s Shot Put. She will be seeking an unprecedented seventh medal at Oregon22.
Another Chinese thrower Song Jiayuan, the fifth-place finisher at the Tokyo Olympic Games will be hoping to win a first major championship medal. Song heads to Oregon as a second-best thrower in the world in 2022 after improving her personal best to 20.38m in Shanghai on 16 June.
Canada’s Sarah Mitton is ranked third on the world top list in 2022 after throwing a lifetime best and national record of 20.33m at her national championships on 25 June.
The 26-year-old enters the world championships as one of only three athletes to exceed 20 meters outdoors this season.Embed from Getty Images
Other medal contenders In Oregon…
Meanwhile, another strong medal contender in Oregon is Portugal’s World and European Indoor champion Auriol Dongmo who is coming off a top ranked 20.43m national record performance during the winter campaign.
Dongmo’s best outdoor mark this season is 19.68m, but she’s already shown that she has the capacity to surpass 20 meters if she gets it right on the day.
Other athletes to keep a close eye on in Oregon are Jessica Schilder of the Netherlands, the World Indoor bronze medalist who also record a mark of 19.68m for a season-best, while Jamaica’s world silver medalist Danniel Thomas-Dodd has posted 19.53m.
Fans can expect to witness a very close-knit battle in both the women’s and men’s Shot Put competitions in Eugene with the medalists expected to come from the throwers who have the best executions in the final.
The World Athletics Championships 2022 at Hayward Field will be held in Eugene, Oregon from 15-24 July.
For a comprehensive preview of each event, click here