Joe Kovacs at the Diamond League meeting in Eugene (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Eugene, USA

Seven members of shot put’s 22-metre club headed to Eugene

The strongest shot put field ever assembled on US soil is the latest event confirmed for the 2020 Prefontaine Classic, part of the Wanda Diamond League, in Eugene on 6-7 June.

The men’s shot put brings back every medallist from the greatest-ever shot put competition – last year’s World Championships final in which three men threw beyond 22.90m. That trio also owned every step of the podium at the Rio Olympics.

This year’s line-up includes seven from last year’s Pre Classic – an epic competition of its own – and the only two putters to have beaten the ‘big three’ at the same time.

Joe Kovacs produced the effort of his life in the last round of the World Championships in Doha, moving from fourth to first with a massive PB of 22.91m, regaining the world title he first won in 2015. The Olympic silver medallist now sits at third on the world all-time list.

Olympic champion Ryan Crouser owns the two longest throws at Hayward Field, achieved in winning at the Pre Classic in 2018 (22.53m) and 2017 (22.43m). He set his outdoor PB of 22.90m when taking silver at the World Championships in Doha. He has started 2020 in impressive form, having won the US indoor title with 22.60m, the second-best indoor throw in history.

New Zealand’s two-time world indoor champion Tom Walsh also set a PB of 22.90m in the last round of the World Championships final, but in a high-quality contest it was only enough for bronze. Walsh won his third Diamond League crown last year, giving him the most in this event.

Brazil’s Darlan Romani has set PBs in his two previous appearances at the Pre Classic. Last year he dominated a power-packed field and setting a PB of 22.61m to beat Kovacs, Crouser and Walsh.

USA’s Darrell Hill has reached the final at the past three global championships. He set his PB of 22.44m when winning the 2017 Diamond League title. It was the first time anyone had beaten Crouser, Kovacs and Walsh at the same meeting.

Polish duo Michal Haratyk, the European champion indoors and out, and Konrad Bukowiecki, the 2017 European indoor champion, also return to Eugene, so too will 2019 NCAA indoor champion Payton Otterdahl.

Organisers for World Athletics