Ryan Crouser retains Olympic men's shot put title

The 28-year-old Crouser went 22.52 meters when he won at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. In the heat at Olympic Stadium, Crouser took the lead on his first attempt and saved his best for his final one.

USA's Ryan Crouser competes in the men's shot put final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic stadium.   -  AFP

Ryan Crouser of the United States retained his title as he won gold in the men's shot put in Tokyo on Thursday, breaking his own Olympic record three times in the final and finishing with a mark of 23.30 metres.

He set the previous record of 22.52m at the Rio Games five years ago when he won the title.

His compatriot Joe Kovacs took silver, and Tomas Walsh of New Zealand claimed bronze with a season's best mark of 22.47. The final results mirrored 2016 final.

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After the result was clear, Crouser held up a card to a camera that read, "Grandpa, we did it, 2020 Olympic champion".

Crouser, who broke the world record in June with a 23.37 mark, started the final in blistering fashion, breaking his Olympic record with a 22.83 mark on his first attempt and then improving on that with a 22.93m throw.

At that point, it looked like his own world record was in danger of falling. But he calmed down slightly in his later attempts before unleashing a 23.30m throw, breaking his Olympic record again, and coming within a whisker of the world record.

This is only the third time that an athlete has broken the Olympic record three times during the shot put competition.

Parry O'Brien of the United States did it in 1956 at the Melbourne Games and Ulf Timmermann of then East Germany at the Seoul Games in 1988.

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