Ryan Crouser smashes Olympic record to win men’s shot put gold

Ryan Crouser of Team United States celebrates as he wins the gold medal in the Men's Shot Put Final on day thirteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 05, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ryan Crouser of Team United States celebrates as he wins the gold medal in the Men's Shot Put Final on day thirteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 05, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The U.S. athlete lands 23.30m with his last throw, as compatriot Joe Kovacs wins silver and New Zealand's Tomas Walsh bronze. 

There is a new chapter in the legend of Ryan Crouser.

The reigning Rio 2016 Olympic champion threw a massive 23.30m in the Tokyo 2020 shot put final to win gold, becoming back-to-back Olympic champion and Olympic record holder in the process.

Crouser left the best to last, with a final throw that was just seven centimetres shy of his 23.27m world record and a full 78cm more than his Rio 2016 Olympic record.

Compatriot Joe Kovacs, the reigning world champion, won silver with a throw of 22.65m with New Zealand's Tomas Walsh winning bronze (22.47).

The top three of Crouser, Kovacs and Walsh, represents a repeat of the Rio 2016 podium - the first time in Olympic history that this has happened.

After his gold medal-winning performance, Crouser spoke about how the secret to his success comes down to preparation.

"By the time you get here, the work is already done," he said.

"I’m training hard because I know Joe (Kovacs) is training hard – we left some great throwers at home. Everyone knows how dedicated everyone is – it definitely leads to some far throws."

And, as any shot put Olympic champion knows, one big throw is the difference between disappointment and glory.

"The key was getting a big one (throw) early. I managed to do that. I had solidified the win by the end so I got a little more aggressive and chased that bigger throw and finally connected with it."

Kovacs, who goes home with the Olympic silver medal, spoke about how much it means to him to win silver in Tokyo.

"I’m really happy," he said. "Of course you always wanna come back with all the gold, but I had one of my best throws of all time. It feels like a privilege and an honour to come back with a medal – we’ve got to keep this tradition going because the American shot putters are the best in the world.

"The biggest thing is to check all the boxes in being prepared. Obviously it’s hot out there today. You’ve got to make sure you’re ready to go. Shot put is always getting better and the US is on top."