Ryan Crouser in action in Zagreb (© Organisers)
Four days after finishing third in a high-quality shot put contest at the IAAF Diamond League final in Zurich, Olympic champion Ryan Crouser returned to winning ways at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Zagreb on Monday (3).
Held on the eve of the Hanzekovic Memorial, the men’s shot put was staged as a separate competition near the city’s fountains in Zagreb in memorial of Yugoslavia’s 1983 world shot put finalist Ivan Ivancic.
Two-time world champion David Storl took an early lead mid-way through the first round with his opening effort of 20.63m, but it was soon surpassed by world indoor and outdoor champion Tom Walsh, who sent his shot out to 21.53m at the end of the first round.
Crouser, who had opened with 20.41m, improved to 21.28m in round two to move into second place, but he was bumped down the standings by Storl’s third-round effort of 21.39m.
The US thrower found his rhythm in round four and took the lead with 22.09m, just 19 centimetres shy of the meeting record he set in 2016. Walsh, who won in Zurich last Thursday, improved to 21.78m with his final effort but it wasn’t enough to catch Crouser.
Storl also added a few centimetres to his best effort of the night in the final round, throwing 21.46m, but the German remained in third place.
European champion Michal Haratyk was fourth with 21.24m and world indoor bronze medallist Tomas Stanek was fifth with 21.06m.
“This is one of my favourite throwing venues,” said Crouser, who will once again face Walsh, Haratyk and Stanek at this weekend’s IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018. “The competition started out a bit difficult but then my technique clicked and I threw 22 metres, so I can’t be disappointed.”
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF