Three years ago in Doha, Joe Kovacs beat Ryan Crouser and Tom Walsh by just one centimetre in what was widely described as the greatest shot put contest in history.
On Sunday night in Eugene history was almost repeated with Kovacs enjoying a slim lead over Crouser in a contest that was almost as exciting.
This time, though, the world record-holder Crouser hit back to take the lead with a championship record of 22.94m in the fifth round after Kovacs had led with 22.89m.
With Josh Awotunde in third with 22.29m, it meant the United States enjoyed another clean sweep of the medals at these championships – and the first medal sweep in the history of the men’s shot put at the Worlds. For Crouser he was competing in his home state as well and this was his first world title following Olympic crowns in Rio and Tokyo.
“Joe is always a fantastic competitor,” said Crouser. “I knew there would be a lot of lead changes. I’d also like to thank the crowd tonight – there was fantastic energy and I don’t think we would have swept the medals if it wasn’t for them.”
He added: “This is a great chance to showcase the talent of Team USA. We all want to show what we can do. The results speak for themselves and the first sweep is a testament to how dominant we’ve been for a number of years.”
Kovacs said: “Congrats to Ryan and this is my sixth medal from six world champs and there is no better feeling than seeing the three flags for the USA going up.”
In discus qualifying Myoklas Alekna of Lithuania led the qualifiers with 68.91m from Kristjan Ceh’s 68.23m.
British throwers Lawrence Okoye and Nick Percy missed out, although only just after finishing 13th with 63.57m and 14th with 63.20m respectively.