World record-breaker Ryan Crouser in action in Los Angeles (© Mercedes Oliver)
USA’s Ryan Crouser threw 23.56m* to improve his own world shot put record at the USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix, this season’s sixth World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, on Saturday (27).
Making history on a sunny but blustery afternoon at the UCLA’s Drake Stadium, Crouser added 19cm to the previous world record of 23.37m that he recorded at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene in June 2021.
The explosive 23.56m throw was achieved by the world and Olympic champion on his fourth attempt.
Crouser said that althrough the throw was good, he has more left in him.
“I’m really excited because it didn’t feel polished,” Crouser explained. “It felt like I had a tonne of power and I caught a big one.”
Crouser has been working on a new technique, which involves a larger step across the ring rather than a more static stance. He said that he used the step in rounds two through to six, and the technique really “clicked” for him.
“I finally saw that spread I’ve been looking for,” Crouser added. “That’s what has me the most excited.”
He was already sending remarkable throws into the field before the record — his first attempt of 23.23m becomes the joint fifth-longest throw in history and his second attempt of 23.31m is the third-longest throw in history. His series also included marks of 22.94m, 22.86m and 22.80m.
Olympic bronze medallist Tom Walsh of New Zealand was second with a throw of 22.12m, and USA’s Payton Otterdahl came in third with a personal best of 21.99m.
After a wind-aided 12.17 in Bermuda a week earlier, Olympic champion and world bronze medallist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico continued her domination to set a world-leading time of 12.31 (-0.2m/s) in the 100m hurdles. Keni Harrison of the USA chased her to the finish but came in second in 12.35. Tia Jones, also of the USA, finished third in 12.50.
World record-holder and world champion Tobi Amusan of Nigeria finished last in the event in 12.69.
A Dominican Republic record was produced by world silver medallist Marileidy Paulino in the 400m when she won in 48.98, the fastest time in the world so far this season. Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain tried to put up a challenge to Paulino but finished runner-up in 50.27. Lynna Irby-Jackson of the USA was third in 50.38.
An underdog broke through in the men’s 400m when Jamaican Sean Bailey managed a shocking kick over the final metres, setting a personal best of 44.43. Kirani James, the world silver medallist and 2012 Olympic champion in the event from Grenada, was runner-up behind Bailey in 44.50. USA's Quincy Hall came in third in 45.09.
In the women’s 100m, there were notable absences in lanes four and five from Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Sha’Carri Richardson, who hold the two fastest times in the world so far this season. They ran 10.88 and 10.90 respectively in their heats, but did not return for the final. Morolake Akinosun of the USA won the event in 10.97 (0.2m/s), while the USA’s Melissa Jefferson and Jamaica’s Alana Reid took second and third in 11.07 and 11.08, respectively.
A world-leading mark was set by USA’s Maggie Ewen when she achieved a massive 20.45m throw on her third attempt to win the women’s shot put. The 28-year-old set a personal best to move to third on the US all-time list.
World champion Chase Ealey, who is second on that all-time list with the 20.51m she threw last year, was runner-up with 19.98m. Danniel Thomas-Dodd finished in third place when she set a Jamaican record with a throw of 19.77m.
In the last minutes of the meeting, announcers at Drake Stadium encouraged the crowd to descend down into seats closest to the pole vault pit to watch the final jumps of the men's competition. Sweden's world record-holder, world champion and Olympic champion Mondo Duplantis alternated with two-time world gold medallist Sam Kendricks to attempt a height of 6.01m. Neither of the men could clear that bar, leaving Duplantis with the win from his 5.91m first-attempt vault. Chris Nilsen was third after clearing 5.71m.
Kendricks said later that the conditions prevented better pole vault performances.
Olympic silver medallist and 2019 world champion Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya set a world-leading time of 3:31.47 in the men’s 1500m. Cheruiyot’s fellow Kenyan, Reynold Kipkorir Cheruiyot, was second in 3:32.01, and Hobbs Kessler of the USA finished third in 3:32.61, setting a personal best. Matthew Centrowitz, the 2016 Olympic champion, finished in 3:36.64 to take eighth place.
The women’s 1500m got off to a hot pace and saw a world-leading time from Ethiopian Diribe Welteji in 3:57.84. Britain’s Kate Snowden finished second in a personal best of 4:00.04 and the USA’s Josette Andrews finished third in 4:00.77.
Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake won the men’s 100m in a personal best of 9.89 (1.0m/s), holding off USA’s Cravont Charleston and Christian Coleman who were separated by a thousandth of a second after they both ran 9.91, a PB for Charleston.
US teammates in last year's World Championships-winning 4x100m relay, Jenna Prandini (22.34) and Twanisha Terry (22.44), claimed the top two spots in the women’s 200m. Anavia Battle was third in 22.57.
USA's Terrance Laird won the men’s 200m in 20.06, but Jereem Richards was close behind him to take second in 20.08. Laird’s compatriot Elijah Morrow was third in 20.22.
The men’s 400m hurdles was dominated by US performances. The event featured a win by CJ Allen, who set a 47.91 personal best. Khallifah Rosser took second in 48.60, and Trevor Bassitt finished third in 48.62. Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands stumbled over a hurdle in the final curve and did not finish.
In the men’s 800m, 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Clayton Murphy of the USA set a season's best of 1:44.75 to win the event. Kenya’s Festus Lagat finished second in 1:44.98, while the USA’s Isaiah Jewett took third in 1:45.10.
World indoor champion Ajee’ Wilson won the women’s 800m in 1:59.01, with Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda following for second place in 1:59.35 and Kaela Edwards (2:00.22) finishing third.
In the women’s javelin, Sun Xiaomei of China threw a winning 55.67m on her second attempt. USA's Ariana Ince threw 55.58m to grab second place, and Liu Shiying Liu of China (55.30m) took third.
Two-time world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada won the men’s javelin throw from his first attempt throw of 83.16m. His winning performance was well ahead of the rest of the field, with USA's Curtis Thompson (75.27m) and Capers Williamson (75.02m) taking second and third place.
Wins for Rogers and Nur as action kicks off
Brilliant triumphs by Camryn Rogers and Abdihamid Nur highlighted the first evening of action in Los Angeles on Friday (26)
World-class athletes gathered in southern California and in the women’s hammer competition Rogers broke her own Canadian record when she reached 78.62m on her final attempt. The distance moves the world silver medallist to fifth on the world all-time list.
“I was very surprised,” Rogers said, “but also very happy. We’ve put in a lot of work going into this competition and I feel like we’re off to a really good start for the season.”
World champion Brooke Andersen of the USA finished second with a 76.06m throw, while US record-holder DeAnna Price took third with a season’s best of 75.89m.
In the men’s hammer throw, Olympic champion and world silver medallist Wojciech Nowicki of Poland achieved a winning 77.18m throw. He beat USA’s Rudy Winkler by only a centimetre, with the pair tied at 77.17m until the sixth and final round. Winkler finished in second and Ethan Katzberg finished third with 75.28m.
After a dramatic tumble on the first lap of the men’s 5000m, Abdihamid Nur unearthed a jaw-dropping recovery — he set a Drake Stadium record and shot under the qualifying standard for the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 (13:07.00) with a 13:05.17 personal best. The field maintained a determined pace from the gun, and 13 of the 24 finishing athletes set personal bests.
Nur said he was bumped on the back, which threw him off his rhythm and caused the fall.
“I just stayed calm, respected the competition and let it come to me,” Nur said. “I went out at two and a half laps because that’s where I feel confident. And when I knew to strike.”
Edwin Kurgat of Kenya finished second in 13:08.46, and USA’s Morgan Beadlescomb was third in 13:08.82.
Competition winnowed down in the pole vault to bring USA’s Olympic and world silver medallist Sandi Morris head-to-head with Canadian champion Alysha Newman. Morris’ single successful vault at 4.61m ultimately brought her the win ahead of Newman, who needed two attempts to clear the height. Both women attempted 4.71m and missed. Rachel Baxter of the USA finished third after reaching 4.51m.
Olympic and world champion Katie Moon struggled to hit her typical heights and exited the competition when she failed to clear the second height progression of 4.41m.
USA’s Craig Engels celebrated his win early in the second of the evening’s men’s 800m races by throwing his fist into the air a few metres from the finish line. His celebration of the win in 1:47.32 was narrowly earned, as runner-up Abraham Alvarado was close behind in 1:47.48. Ghana’s Alex Amankwah took third in 1:47.52.
USA’s Laurie Barton went quickest in the women’s 800m races, winning in 2:02.54 ahead of Sweden’s Hanna Hermansson (2:03.63).
The 3000m steeplechase races were won with PB performances by Madie Boreman of the USA (9:22.99) and Tunisia’s Ahmed Jaziri (8:17.64). Lifetime bests were also set by the 1500m winners, Canada’s Kieran Lumb clocking 3:35.99 and USA’s Emily Mackay running 4:07.03.
USA’s Emily Lipari won the women’s 5000m in 15:08.87. Australian Lauren Ryan finished second in a 15:11.84 PB and Bethany Hasz of the USA also achieved a personal best of 15:14.08 for third.
Madeline Ryan for World Athletics
*Subject to the usual ratification procedure