Ryan Crouser made a sensational start to 2021 as he smashed the world indoor shot put record and backed it up with the second furthest throw in history at the American Track League meet in Fayetteville on Sunday.

The Olympic champion launched the shot out to 22.82m in the very first round of the competition, with the throw so far it almost cleared the landing mat.

The mark adds 16 centimetres to the world indoor record which had been set by Randy Barnes 32 years ago.

“I’d say it’s a pretty good start to 2021,” Crouser said after his opening throw, “but I’ve got five more (attempts) so time to get to work.”

And the 28-year-old American was far from finished as he followed that record throw with 22.70m in the third round for another mark beyond Barnes’ 22.66m recorded in 1989.

Crouser’s superb series also included a final round throw of 22.48m – a mark that only two other athletes have ever bettered indoors – and 21.03m thrown in round two.

Speaking on the World Athletics live stream after the competition, Fayetteville-based Crouser said: “It’s quite a start for me to 2021. It feels like it has been a long road to get back to some normal competitions.

“It felt like I had a ton of energy and the biggest thing that went through my mind was just relax, feel a rhythm. I lined that first one up and got an indoor PB which is just off of my outdoor all-time record. 22.82m, a new indoor world record.

“I feel like there’s more there.”

Grant Holloway was another athlete to impress as World Athletics Indoor Tour action got underway with the Silver-level meeting at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

After running 7.38 in his 60m hurdles heat, the world 110m hurdles champion equalled his own US record with 7.35 in the final. Only Colin Jackson with 7.30 and Dayron Robles with 7.33 and 7.34 have ever gone quicker.

USA’s Tonea Marshall won the women’s 60m hurdles final in 7.86, with British record-holder Tiffany Porter third in 7.89 to match her third fastest ever time.

Also impressive was world bronze medallist Fred Kerley who dominated the men’s 400m, clocking 45.03 for victory after going through 200m in 21.09, while Quanera Hayes clocked 51.76 to win the women’s race as Britain’s Lina Nielsen ran 53.27.

Continuing his comeback after injury, 2016 world indoor champion Trayvon Bromell was just 0.01 off his PB with 6.48 to win the 60m. Nigeria’s Divine Oduduru was second in 6.65. Britain’s Adam Gemili had clocked 6.81 in the heats.

The women’s final was won by Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare in a PB of 7.17 as Britain’s Daryll Neita ran 7.29 to match her time from the heats.

USA’s Gabby Thomas ran 35.92 for 300m to move to sixth on the world indoor all-time list, while world 100m hurdles record-holder Kendra Harrison won a later race in 36.83.

World indoor gold medallist Vashti Cunningham cleared 1.90m to win the high jump, while the pole vault was decided by jump off, with Megan Clark claiming victory ahead of Katie Nageotte after they both cleared 4.50m.

Source: Jessica Whittington