News26 Apr 2022

Crouser, Kovacs and Walsh to clash in Eugene shot put showdown


Ryan Crouser competes at the Prefontaine Classic (© Diamond League AG)

The top five athletes in the Tokyo Olympic Games men’s shot put final – including medallists Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs and Tom Walsh – will renew their rivalry at the Prefontaine Classic, a Wanda Diamond League meeting, on 28 May.

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Crouser returns to the scene of his world record throw achieved at the US Olympic Trials, the 29-year-old having launched the shot 23.37m last June to break the long-standing global mark at Hayward Field.

He went on to retain his Olympic title in Tokyo, throwing an Olympic record of 23.30m to beat his US compatriot Kovacs and New Zealand’s Walsh.

It was Kovacs who led the trio’s epic clash at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha. Throwing a championship record of 22.91m he won by just a single centimetre ahead of both Crouser and Walsh, who both recorded 22.90m.

Brazil’s Darlan Romani finished fourth in the Tokyo Olympic final and went on to beat Crouser to the world indoor title in Belgrade in March, throwing a championship record of 22.53m to the world indoor record-holder’s 22.44m, while Italy’s Zane Weir finished fifth in the Olympic final, and they both add further strength to the Prefontaine Classic field.

They will all hope to return to the same Oregon venue seven weeks later to renew their rivalry again at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22.

Joining the battle at the Prefontaine Classic will be US Olympian Darrell Hill and his compatriot Josh Awotunde.

The world record-holder will go up against the Tokyo Olympic Games gold and silver medallists in the women’s 3000m steeplechase in Eugene.

Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech stormed to her world record of 8:44.32 at the Monaco Diamond League in 2018, while Uganda’s Peruth Chemutai won gold and USA’s Courtney Frerichs secured silver at the Tokyo Olympics.

In Eugene they will also face USA’s 2017 world champion Emma Coburn and Kazakhstan's Norah Jeruto, who broke the Hayward Field record with 8:53.65 to win last year’s Pre Classic, plus Mekides Abebe, Valerie Constien, Winfred Mutile Yavi, Celliphine Chepteek Chespol, Rosefline Chepngetich, Jackline Chepkoech, Genevieve Lalonde, Zerfe Wondemagegn and Workua Getachew.