Welcome to the World Champs 2023 Preview, Day 13.
For the next 32 days, RunBlogRun will be posting a story a day on the buildup to the World Athletics Outdoor Championships, to be held in Budapest, Hungary, from August 19-August 27, 2023.
Today, April 30, 2023, we are writing about athletes from North America.
I wanted to write about one of my favorites, the gentle giant himself, Ryan Crouser.
Ryan Crouser is a total student of the sport. Coached by his father, a former fine Oregon thrower, and with a family history of throwers (his uncle was quite good as well), Ryan Crouser has developed into an incredibly fit and talented show putter.
The shot put gets some inaccurate press at times. It is not just about Big Guys and Big Gals throwing steel orbs through the air; it is about the speed and finesse with which they throw.
Ryan Crouser, 2022 USATF Champs, photo by Kevin Morris
Think about this. Go out on your porch (have somebody with you) and try and spin around once without getting dizzy. A spin thrower, like Ryan Crouser, uses gravity to help him spin faster and faster and then release sixteen pounds of steel into orbit.
Ryan Crouser, 2022 USATF Champs, by Kevin Morris
How successful is Ryan Crouser? Well, he has the world records for the indoor and outdoor shot put. Ryan has won gold medals in Rio and Tokyo in the Olympics, and he has battled the finest throwers in the world, Tomas Walsh of New Zealand, and Joe Kovacs of the USA, Brazil’s Darlan Romani, who defeated Ryan in the World Indoors.
Here’s the deal. Ryan Crouser is a genuinely nice guy. He likes to throw sixteen-pound metal balls over 73-76 feet (22-24 meters). He also likes to fish for largemouth bass, and he even fishes in freezing conditions for bass, not ice fishing, like we do in Wisconsin. This guy is out there catching bass over five pounds at 0 Celsius (32 Fahrenheit).
Ryan Crouser seems to be on a mission to show the general sports fan that guys who are six foot seven and about three hundred pounds have a huge control of their large bodies when they are spinning to push the shot put farther and farther away.
World Athletics Championships
Eugene, Oregon, USA
shot put, Crouser, USA, Kovacs, USA
And Ryan thrives on competition, so he and Joe Kovacs push each other. The respect they have for each other as shot put warriors is all about making the other guy throw farther.
Last winter, on the same weekend that USATF, the US federation, held their indoor track championships, Ryan went to a facility in Pocatello, Idaho, and threw 23.38, breaking the world record by one centimeter. The crowd loved it, and his sponsors loved it too.
The only challenge was that he used a sixteen-pound indoor shot put with a rubber casing on the outside, which could not be recognized as the all-around world record. There was also an issue about the height of the ring.
So on April 26, Ryan Crouser, Chase Ealey, and friends competed at the Drake Relays, but with an outdoor shot implement indoors due to the crazy spring weather in Iowa.
Ryan Crouser and Chase Ealey won the shot put, but he did not set a new record. On April 29, Ryan and Chase competed at Drake Relays outdoors. Now, this writer was there to observe the Drake Relays and why fans are so loyal to the meet. I sat with some parents, grandparents, extended family and a pole vault coach. These folks were total fans.
Now the morning was glorious, and I watched 12 heats of the boys 4×100, including a 41.98 win in heat 12 by a young man who had recently run 10.33 (he is second fastest in the state, someone has run 10.31).
As I walked around the stadium, I saw a good crowd, enthusiastic high school and college athletes, and their fan base. I also recall a mother of a competitor asking me if I brought my rain gear. I had not…
The weather changed to cold and rainy in the last two hours on Saturday. By the time the shot puts began at 2.05 PM, Chase Ealey, Maggie Ewan, and the rest of the women’s field were slipping and sliding on a wet ring.
𝘋𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘯’ 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯@RCrouserThrows breaks the Drake Relays record with a throw of 73-5 1/4 (22.38)
— Drake Relays (@DrakeRelays) April 29, 2023
The guy’s conditions were much worse. As the fans, all in rain suits, watched the throwers and twelve events of the Continental tour stop, the elite series that WA is using to showcase even more athletics talent, several throwers slipped and landed on their backsides. Ryan connected twice, a 20.78m to take the lead and a 22.38, or 73-5.25, to take the win. An Instagram video shows the rain exploded as Ryan Crouwer released the big one.
Ryan Crouser is an institution at Drake. He has now won 5 times and owns the stadium record as well as the meet record. This guy is serious. He was very happy about breaking US shot put great Christian Cantwell’s Drake Relay record.
Ryan Crouser, Men’s shot put,
USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, June 23-26, 2022, photo by Kevin Morris
“I’ve been chasing the Drake Relays record for a long time,” said Crouser to the assembled media, “I own the Drake Stadium record, so I’m happy to finally get Christian Cantwell’s record. I felt really good despite the conditions today.”
Ryan Crouser is the defending champion from Eugene, and yes, he is focused on Budapest and also putting the world record into the stratosphere. But first, he will take on Joe Kovacs, who just took the WL from Crouser, with his 22.69m on the east coast.
The shotputter, bass fisherman, is not done yet. In fact, for 2023, this is only the beginning.
And Budapest, make sure you get tickets for the shot put! The competitors in the shot put will make it worth your while to see the battle of the orbs. And Ryan Crouser wants to be at the very top of that podium.
To read all of our earlier stories in Witness the Wonder, numbers 1-12:
1. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 1; Welcome to the World Champs! https://runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-1-welcome-to-the-world-champs.html
2. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 2, Meeting the Stars of Hungarian Athletics! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-2-meeting-the-stars-of-hungarian-athletics.html
3. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 3, Why you should go to Budapest! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-3.html
4. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 4, Mondo Duplantis & Nafi Thiam are Europe’s finest; how will they do in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-3-mondo-duplantis-nafi-thiam-are-europes-finest-how-will-they-do-in-budapest.html
5. Witness the Wonder, World Championships Budapest 2023, Day 5, Just What Will Faith Kipyegon Do in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-championships-budapest-2023-day-5-just-what-will-faith-kipyegon-do-in-budapest.html
6. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 6, Mutaz Essa Barshim. Will he take a 4th straight title in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-mutaz-essa-barshim-will-he-take-a-4th-straight-title-in-budapest.html
7. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Outdoor Champs Budapest 2023, Day 7, Noah Lyles wants to burn up the track in Budapest in August! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-outdoor-champs-budapest-2023-noah-lyles-wants-to-burn-up-the-track-in-budapest-in-august.html
8. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 8, all About the National Athletics Center https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-8-all-about-the-national-athletics-center.html
9. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 9: Meet Anita Marton, Hungarian star shot putter, who has deadly last-round throws! What will she do in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-9-meet-anita-marton-hungarian-star-shot-putter-who-has-deadly-last-round-throws-what-will-she-do-in-budapest.html
10. Witness the Wonder, 2023 World Athletics Outdoor Championships, Day 10: Karsten Warhold is back, what will he do in Budapest over the 400 meter hurdles? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-2023-world-athletics-outdoor-championships-day-10-karsten-warhold-is-back-what-will-he-do-in-budapest-over-the-400-meter-hurdles.html
11. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 11, Wayde Van Niekerk is coming to Budapest! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-11-wayde-van-niekerk-wr-holder-olympic-champions-two-time-world-champion-at-400-meters-has-returned-and-he-wants-to-run-a-sizz.html
12. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 12, Neeraj Chopra, India’s Javelin star, will he move up to gold in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-neeraj-chopra-indias-javelin-star-will-he-move-up-to-gold-in-budapest.html,
The World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, will be held August 19-27, 2023, and tickets are available now! Click here to learn more about ticket sales: https://tickets.wabudapest23.com/
RunBlogRun suggests a wonderful book on Hungary, The Hungarians, A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat, by Paul Lendvai, Translated by Ann Major, Princeton University Press, www.pupress.princeton.edu.