10 Seconds: Ryan Crouser’s Moment
Jun 18, 2021
A world record in the shot put, and it was expected.
Twenty-nine seconds. We’ll call it 30. That’s about how long Ryan Crouser waited after the throw. He knew it was good right away. The steel orb was still soaring through the air and he threw both his arms up in celebration. The steel ball that weighs 16 pounds almost flew out of the field of play, well past the 74-foot mark. Crouser knew it was good. But still, he, and everyone in the stadium and watching the NBC Sports live feed, had to wait. Had to wait to see if the throw was as far as it seemed, as far the world record set by Randy Barnes in 1990 at 23.13 meters.
And so, 25 seconds after the throw, Crouser was still waiting, waiting to hear how far he had thrown.
When finally, the result flashed on the screen:
A new World Record.
It is no surprise, the way Crouser’s year has gone so far. Per World Athletics’ Jon Mulkeen, it was his 133rd throw over 22 meters. No other man has thrown that far 40 times. He has been on a tear since winning silver to Joe Kovacs at the 2019 World Championships in Doha in what many call the greatest shot put competition ever.
At 6-foot-8, he is a presence in the shot circle. His footwork is impeccable, twirling through the circle before transferring the power up from his legs, through the torso and up to his arm that vaults the shot through the air.
On this night, the shot flew 76-feet-8.25-inches away from him.
“I always try to clear my head and set my feet,” Crouser said after the race. He went slow, and set it up right, he said.
What a throw. What a night. What a 29-second period of waiting.
Not exactly the 10-second stories we were planning to tell, but world records get 19 extra.