When he broke it, Ryan Crouser knew it right away.
The 28-year-old who built a training pit at his home in Arkansas to stay tuned during the coronavirus pandemic broke a world shot put record on Friday night that had been set two and a half years before he was born.
On Day 1 of the US Olympic Trials, he lifted the enormous 76-foot, 8-1 / 4-inch (23.37-meter) medal sphere to put his name in the record books and punch his ticket to Tokyo, where he will have the chance to defend Olympic Title next month.
Most everyone in this tight-knit pitching group knew that the record of 75-10 1/4 (23.12) held by Randy Barnes since May 20, 1990 was in danger. Earlier this year, Crouser broke Barnes’ indoor record. Earlier Friday in qualifying, Crouser lifted 75-2 1/2 inches (22.92) to set the US Olympic Trials record.
Even before the fourth of his six tries on a balmy, sunny evening at Hayward Field had sunk into the dirt, Crouser was raising his arms in celebration. When it landed, far beyond where any other mark had been made, a collective hiccup came from the stands filled with quarters.
About half a minute passed as officials checked the distance. When the mark appeared on the board, confirming that he had broken one of the oldest records in the book, he was mobbed by his competitors near the circle.
Among those who congratulated him were world champion Joe Kovacs, who finished second, and Payton Otterdahl, who got third place.
A few minutes later, Crouser posed proudly on the pitch. The photo: Him standing next to the dashboard with both thumbs up and the words “World Record” highlighted in green on the board next to his new record.
Crouser, who was second behind Kovacs at the world championships in Doha in 2019, didn’t miss a day of training in 2020, even with the coronavirus pandemic putting an end to things across the world. He built a homemade shot put ring that he built from two sheets of plywood and screws from Home Depot.
The opening day of testing was also marked by strong first round performances from 800m world champion Donavan Brazier and sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, who chose orange as the hair color of the day and achieved the fastest time in 100 meters (10.84 seconds). . High jumper Vashti Cunningham – the daughter of former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham – easily advanced to the final and discus thrower Valarie Allman set a competition record with her throw of 229- 8 (70.01) in qualifying.
In the only other final of the night, Woody Kincaid sprinted down the home stretch to fend off Grant Fisher and win the 10,000-meter. The two are running for the Bowerman Track Club. Kincaid finished in 27: 53.62. Joe Klecker finished third.
All received a second bill from Crouser.
It’s hard to miss during a track and field competition. The 320-pound absorbs about 5,000 calories per day to keep its weight on its 6-7 frame. His diet consists of two large burritos for breakfast in the morning, a pound of ground beef for lunch, and three of the four servings of an evening meal delivery service.
This food helped build a champion – and now he also holds a world record.