Ryan Crouser spinning to a meeting record in the shot put at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene (© Victah Sailer)
The world’s best shot put battle returns to the Prefontaine Classic, part of the IAAF Diamond League, as the clash for No.1 continues between USA’s Ryan Crouser and New Zealander Tom Walsh in Stanford on 30 June.
It will be fourth time the Pre Classic will host the titanic matchup, one that began in 2016. Since then the two have won Olympic gold and World Championships golds indoors and out.
The duo will be surrounded by a power-packed field – all of whom are members of the 22-metre club – plus the only three putters to haven beaten both Crouser and Walsh in the same meet.
Crouser, world ranked No.1 in the shot put, currently has a 12-9 lifetime head-to-head record over Walsh, his first win coming when taking Olympic gold in Rio. While the two have continued to duel all over the globe, Crouser’s two longest efforts against Walsh have come in setting Pre Classic meeting records the past two years.
Earlier this year Crouser won the Millrose Games and US indoor titles with the two longest indoor marks of his career; his best of22.33m is still the absolute world leader.
Walsh, world ranked No.2 in the shot put, set a PB of 22.67m last year to equal the world’s longest put since 2003. The world indoor and outdoor champion came close to that when winning at the IAAF Diamond League final with 22.60m.
Olympic finalist Darlan Romani defeated both Walsh and Crouser at the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 and then extended his PB to 22.00m one week later. He will return to the Prefontaine Classic after finishing third last year with 21.95m.
US champion Darrell Hill snatched the IAAF Diamond League title away from Crouser with a PB of 22.44m in Zurich, making him just the just the second man to beat Crouser and Walsh at the same meeting.
Joe Kovacs, the 2015 world champion, won the Prefontaine Classic in 2015 and 2016, the latter making him the first to beat Crouser and Walsh in the same competition.
Since his Pre Classic debut last year gave him his first national record, Poland’s Michal Haratyk claimed the European title outdoors last year and indoors in March.
Two-time world champion David Storl, world indoor bronze medallist Tomas Stanek and 2017 European indoor champion Konrad Bukowiecki are also in the field.
Organisers for the IAAF