“A Lot About Heat Management”- Ryan Crouser Reveals His Gold Medal Strategy for Shot Put at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/05/2021, 4:32 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Men’s Shot Put – Final – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 5, 2021. Ryan Crouser of the United States in action REUTERS/Hannah Mckay


Ryan Crouser made history at the Tokyo Olympics by winning the gold medal in the Shot-put event. The American won his second gold medal, throwing a massive distance of 23.30 metres to break the existing Olympic record. 

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Through his six attempts, Crouser was the clear winner and never had any doubt in mind over his ability. Coming into this competition, he was the favourite and did not let down on expectations. In his first attempt itself, Crouser threw 22.83 metres which would have won him the gold medal!

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Men’s Shot Put – Final – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 5, 2021. Ryan Crouser of the United States poses with his national flag after winning gold and a new Olympic Record REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

While most athletes preserve their best for the last, the American had an effective strategy for his throws. Rather than building up to something, he judged the weather and put all his strength in the first throw itself. 

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“My mindset was really good going in,” Crouser said, speaking to Sports Illustrated. “Practice went really well, so today it was a lot about heat management. We knew it would be a long competition and we knew it would be hot.” 

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Men’s Shot Put – Final – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 5, 2021. Ryan Crouser of the United States in action REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

“The key was getting a big one early. I managed to do that. I had solidified the win by the end so I got a little more aggressive and chased that bigger throw and finally connected with it,” he said.

Ryan Crouser was the clear winner in the shot put finals

Athletes have been complaining about the heat in Tokyo which particularly took its toll on middle and long stance runners. A tennis match had to be abandoned earlier due to the extreme conditions. Ryan Crouser took all of this into account as he moved towards the shot put finals, obviously understanding the condition in the qualifiers. 

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Men’s Shot Put – Final – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 5, 2021. Ryan Crouser of the United States shows a message for his grandfather after winning gold REUTERS/Andrew Boyers TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

He absolutely dominated the finals, with all six throws breaking the previous Olympic record. Five out of those six defeated silver medallist Joe Kovacs’ best throw. Kovacs, also from USA, threw 22.65 m on his fourth attempt which assured him the silver medal. He managed to defeat Crouser in an epic showdown at the World Championships in 2019, Doha but failed to replicate that success. 

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Men’s Shot Put – Final – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 5, 2021. Ryan Crouser of the United States celebrates with his national flag after winning gold alongside silver medalist Joe Kovacs of the United States REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel

Ryan Crouser was far more superior this time around. New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh earned the bronze medal with a 22.47m throw, which meant that the podium looked exactly the same as it was at the Rio Olympics, 5 years ago. 

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Luke Dias

1547 articles

Luke Dias is a senior WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports, having published more than 1000 articles on professional wrestling. Having completed courses in Advanced Writing from the University of California and Media and Ethics from the University of Amsterdam, Luke is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Xavier’s College. His tremendous knowledge of WWE history enables him to make past connections, adding depth to the articles.

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