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Ryan Crouser defends Olympic shot put gold; Kovacs second for silver

Ryan Crouser defends Olympic shot put gold; Kovacs second for silver
Posted at 8:22 PM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 01:05:35-04

World record-holder Ryan Crouser successfully defended his Olympic shot put gold medal Thursday in Tokyo, launching a No. 2 all-time mark of 23.30m on his final attempt to seal the title.  

Crouser, who led Tuesday’s qualifying, opened up with a massive 22.83m to best his own Olympic record set in Rio by about a foot, then increased it by 10 centimeters on his 22.93m second attempt before heaving the colossal sixth attempt, only the third throw in history to surpass 23 meters.

The 28-year-old Oregon native took down Randy Barnes' 31-year-old all-time mark in June at U.S. Olympic Trials with a otherworldly 23.37m.

SEE MORE: Ryan Crouser breaks Barnes' 31-year-old shot put world record

His series in Tokyo will go down as one of the best performances in history, with all six attempts matching or bettering his previous Olympic record.

After claiming the victory, the Texas alum donned his iconic cowboy hat and displayed a sheet of paper that read, "Grandpa, We DID IT, 2020 Olympic Champion!"

Crouser's teammate Joe Kovacs, the reigning world champion, threw 22.65m for silver, while 2017 world champion Tomas Walsh of New Zealand recorded 22.47m for bronze.

SEE MORE: Rio 2016: USA's Crouser, Kovacs take shot put gold, silver

The medal-winning trio's Tokyo finish repeats the exact podium order from Rio, the first time in Olympic history that's happened in an individual event at consecutive Games.

They also finished top three at the 2019 World Championships, with Kovacs taking first.

SEE MORE: 2019 Worlds: Joe Kovacs prevails in epic shot put bout