USA's Ryan Crouser in action in the shot put (© AFP / Getty Images)
Ryan Crouser started his outdoor campaign where he left off during the indoor season – quite literally, as his 21.93m at the Drake Relays on Saturday (24) matched his performance from his last indoor appearance in February.
The invitational events at the Drake Relays were staged as part of the World Athletics Continental Tour series, and Crouser was one of a handful of global stars in action.
He led the shot put from the opening round, throwing 20.97m in round one and 21.85m in round two. He improved to 21.93m in the fourth round, which proved more than enough to defeat Nick Ponzio (21.16m).
It represented Crouser’s 15th consecutive victory, his last defeat coming at the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.
Britain’s Cindy Sember sped to a 12.57 (1.8m/s) lifetime best in the 100m hurdles, beating world indoor silver medallist Christina Clemons of the USA (12.59). Tiffany Porter, Sember’s older sister, was third in 12.80.
Pan American champion Alison dos Santos, who didn’t race at all during 2020, produced a lifetime best of 48.15 to win the men’s 400m hurdles. The 20-year-old Brazilian finished well clear of Kenny Selmon (48.87) and broke a meeting record that had stood to Danny Harris since 1986.
Panama’s Gianna Woodruff won the women’s 400m hurdles in a national record of 55.02, finishing exactly half a second ahead of USA’s Ashley Spencer.
Two-time world champion Sam Kendricks won the men’s pole vault with a meeting record of 5.86m. He had a clear card up to and including 5.80m, a height that was successfully cleared by just one other man, Chris Nilsen. Kendricks then went clear on his third attempt at 5.86m while Nilsen failed.
World indoor champion Sandi Morris won the women’s event with 4.70m. She took the lead with her opening clearance of 4.50m, but US compatriot Katie Nageotte responded with a first-time clearance at 4.60m to move into first. Nageotte went no higher, though, while Morris went on to clear 4.70m on her third try.
Elsewhere, Josette Norris ran a well-executed race to win the women’s 1500m in 4:06.17. Olympic 800m bronze medallist Clayton Murphy won the men’s event in 3:39.12.
Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics