Rio 2016: Texas' Ryan Crouser sets Olympic shot put record to win gold
It was a performance that will be talked about for some time as Texas Longhorn Ryan Crouser won gold at the Olympic Games, setting a new Olympic record in the process.
Crouser had a winning toss of 22.52 meters (73-10.75) on his fifth throw of the competition to break the previous Olympic record of 22.47 meters. The throw also ties him for the No. 10 mark of all time.
"For this being his first Olympics he handled it like a veteran," said Mario Sategna, Texas Head Coach and Team USA Men's Assistant Coach for Throws. "He just was relaxed. To set the Olympic record, when you look at the list of names and the old record was set back in 1988 by Ulf Timmerman, that's just icing on the cake. I could not be more proud. This is a long time coming."
Big throws came in all six rounds for Crouser as he posted one of the best series of throws ever. Three throws over 22 meters, another three over 21 meters and not a single foul in the competition helped propel Crouser onto the global stage as one of the top throwers in the world and one to watch for some time with such a consistent performance of world-class throws.
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His victory also marked the seventh gold medal of these games for Longhorns. If Texas current and former athletes were their own team in Rio, the Longhorns would rank 10th in gold medals.
Crouser's Team USA teammate Joe Kovacs took silver to give the U.S. two medalists in the men's shot put for the first time since 2000 and the first 1-2 finish since 1996. The win is the 18th time an American man has won the shot put as Team USA has dominated the event in the modern Olympics age, not winning the title only 10 times. It also is the 18th time Team USA has had at least two medals in the men's shot put.
The victory for Crouser makes it a sweep for Texas in the shot put after Lifetime Longhorn Michelle Carter won gold in the women's shot put on the opening night of track and field action at the Olympics. She became the first American woman to win the shot put. Crouser is the first American man to win the Olympic shot put title since Crouser's idol Adam Nelson in 2004.
"To have two Texas Exes win Olympic gold in the same Olympic Games is unprecedented," Sategna said. "It will be neat to find a way to honor two of the all-time greats that have done it the right way winning the gold medal."