Ryan Crouser is a two-time Olympic gold medal-winning shot putter. He is the only man to defend the Olympic title breaking his own event record (22.52m in 2016 and 23.30m in 2021).
Heading into the World Athletics Championships in Oregon with the season's best throw (23.12m), achieved at the Hayward Field, the venue for the mega event, Crouser is a clear favourite for the gold medal.
Inheriting his family's favourite sport, throwing, Crouser made his senior debut in 2016 and won the tightly contested US Olympic trials with a throw of 22.11m.
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At the Olympics in Rio, in his quest for the maiden senior title, Crouser improved his personal best three times - 22.22m, 22.26m and 22.52m - to win the Olympic gold, setting a new meet record.
However, following that remarkable performance, Crouser returned home empty-handed from most of the international events, before regaining his form for the Tokyo Olympics trials.
As there was little sign of improvement in his throws, the Olympic champion chose Mario Sategna as his coach in 2020. This move helped him make a turnaround. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted most of the season, Crouser managed to script the greatest season in shot put history.
He won all 11 of his competitions - three indoors and eight outdoors. That season, no other athlete in the world threw beyond 22m. Crouser surpassed the 22m mark 36 times, more than any other shot putter has achieved across a whole career span. His best throw of 22.58m - just eight centimetres short of the world indoor record - in December 2020 indicated that Crouser’s off-season training was unhindered.
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As the 2021 season started, he made a statement by setting the world indoor record of 22.82m at the America Track League. He maintained his winning streak to end the season on a high. Competing in his fourth outdoor competition of the year, he hurled the iron ball to 23.01m in Tucson on 22 May, becoming just the third man in history to throw beyond 23 metres.
At the US Olympic trials he broke the world record, registering 23.37m to confirm his Tokyo ticket.
On a hot streak, Crouser would be be eager to end the long wait for his maiden World Championships gold in Eugene.