FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Olympic champion Ryan Crouser broke the world indoor shot put record at an American Track League meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Sunday.
Crouser tossed the shot put 22.82 meters (74 feet, 10½ inches) on his first attempt to break the mark of 22.66 (74-4¼) set by Randy Barnes on Jan. 20, 1989. Crouser’s record is pending ratification.
The 28-year-old Crouser’s heave went so far that it nearly landed out of the area designed for the competition. He also had another toss that went 22.70 meters (74-5¾).
“It’s a pretty good start to 2021,” Crouser said on ESPN. “I feel like there is more there.”
The American Track League is staging a four-week indoor series at the University of Arkansas over consecutive Sundays. It’s a chance for athletes to see how they stack up in a time when COVID-19 has made finding meets extremely difficult.
Crouser, who trains at Arkansas, will have a chance to break his own record next Sunday.
“First meet, first throw … usually it’s a rocky start. The consistency is pretty good,” Crouser said on the network broadcast. “For me, it’s a continuation to develop my throw. These are usually things I’d see in June or July.”
Crouser is hoping to defend his Olympic title at the delayed Tokyo Games that are set to begin in July. He also earned the silver medal at the 2019 world championships in Doha, Qatar.
Heading into the meet, Crouser said he was “in good shape to throw far.” His previous best was 22.58 meters (74-1) at a competition in Manhattan, Kansas, on Dec. 5.
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