Athletics

Crouser breaks indoor shot put world record as De Grasse toils

Ryan Crouser made an incredible start to 2021 in Fayetteville, but Andre De Grasse failed to reach the final of the 60m won by a resurgent Trayvon Bromell.

By Rory Jiwani ·

Shot put star Ryan Crouser could not have made a more spectacular start to Olympic year.

With his very first competitive throw of 2021 at the American Track League athletics meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the Rio 2016 gold medallist hurled the shot out to 22.82m to break Randy Barnes' 32-year-old indoor world record of 22.66m.

The 28-year-old was unable to improve on that stellar opening effort, although he did beat Barnes' previous world best again with 22.70m on his third throw.

"I feel like there’s more there. I mean, first meet, first throw… usually these are distances I would hope to see in June or July." - Ryan Crouser

Crouser, who lives and trains in Fayetteville, said in his post-competition interview, "Yeah, quite a start for me to 2021. It feels like it’s been a long road just to get back to some normal competitions.

"First throw, I felt really nervous actually just having been training for so long by myself or with just a training partner. So it felt like I had a ton of energy, and my biggest thing that went through my mind was just to relax, feel a rhythm. I lined that first one up and an indoor PB for me, just off my outdoor all-time record."

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Bromell back to form as De Grasse struggles

It was an afternoon to forget for Andre De Grasse who was one of the star attractions on the track.

Canada's three-time Olympic medallist from Rio 2016 made a sluggish start in his 60m heat and could only finish seventh as he missed out on a place in the final.

Rio 100m finalist Trayvon Bromell impressed in his heat and clocked a stunning 6.48s, just one-hundredth of a second outside his personal best, in the final to take victory.

Bromell has suffered from physical and mental health issues in recent years, but showed he is back to challenge for a place in USA's sprint team in Tokyo.

Nigeria's Divine Oduduru was second in 6.65s ahead of Jamaica's Andre Ewers.

Reigning Olympic 110m hurdles gold medallist Omar McLeod finished in seventh place.

In McLeod's absence, world 110m hurdles champion Grant Holloway was a comfortable winner of the 60m hurdles in 7.35s.

Nigeria's Beijing 2008 long jump silver medallist Blessing Okagbare won the women's 60m in a personal best 7.17s from Jamaica's Christania Williams with USA's Kayla White third.

There was a home win in the men's 400m with Fred Kerley taking victory in 45.03s with Jamaica's Christopher Taylor second ahead of Travean Caldwell of the USA.

2019 world bronze medallist Vashti Cunningham won the women's high jump with 1.90m, while Megan Clark beat Katie Nageotte in a jump-off in the pole vault after both cleared 4.50m.

Nageotte was operating off a shorter run-up and revealed afterwards that she had contracted COVID in early December and experienced a "really rough month in training".