EUGENE – Arkansas volunteer assistant Ryan Crouser claimed his first shot put gold medal in a World Athletics Championship on Sunday with a championship meet record of 75 feet, 3.25 inches (22.94).
Arkansas alum Sandi Morris collected her third consecutive silver medal in a World Outdoor Championship pole vault, with previous runner-up finishes occurring in 2017 and 2019. Razorback alum Tina Šutej of Slovenia just missed on her second global medal of the season, placing fourth.
Alum Kemar Mowatt represented Jamaica in the semifinals of the 400m hurdles. Racing in an adjacent lane to world record holder Karsten Warholm of Norway, Mowatt posted a time of 48.59 to place fourth in the heat but didn’t advance on time to the final.
Crouser moved into the lead in round two with a toss of 74-6.25 (22.71) and maintained it until the fifth round. Joe Kovacs, the 2019 world champion by a centimeter over Crouser, reclaimed the lead in round five with a 75-1.25 (22.89) effort.
Then Crouser responded with a championship record of 75-3.25 (22.94), bettering the previous mark of 75-2 (22.91) set by Kovacs in 2019. Crouser joins Adam Nelson as the only shot putter to win both the World Championships and Olympic Games.
“It was so special to do it here, my home state,” stated Crouser. “I remember throwing in this ring when I was 12 years old. Seventeen years later, this is more that I could ever dreamed of.
“This is such a special night, being part of the USA sweep in the shot put at the first World Championships on home soil. This is something I’ll never forget, probably the proudest moment of my shot putting career.”
Kovacs secured silver while a third American, Josh Awotunde, claimed bronze with a 73-1.75 (22.29) for a USA sweep. New Zealand’s Tom Walsh placed fourth with a 72-5.25 (22.08).
“We’ve been talking about a sweep for a long time, and we’ve finally done it,” noted Crouser. “A huge congrats to Joe Kovacs. He competed fantastically as always. Josh had an amazing night, throwing three personal bests. The atmosphere was amazing and the crowd so energetic. This is a night I’ll never forget.”
Misses, and when they occurred, determined who would get which medals in the pole vault final.
Tokyo Olympic champion Katie Nageotte cleared a world leading 15-11 (4.85) on first attempt after needing two attempts at 15-5 (4.70) and 15-9 (4.80). Morris, meanwhile, was clean through her first four heights, but needed two attempts at 15-11 to match the world-leading height for 2022.
Australia’s Nina Kennedy needed three attempts at her opening height of 14-7.25 (4.45), then cleared the next three bars on first attempts. After two misses at 15-11, she passed to take one unsuccessful attempt at 16-0.75 (4.90).
Šutej cleared the first two bars on first attempts, then needed a third attempt to clear 15-1 (4.60). Then Šutej managed a first attempt make at 15-5 before missing three attempts at 15-9.
The fourth-place finish is the best result for Šutej at an outdoor World Championships. She earned a bronze medal at the 2022 World Indoor meet in March.
Mowatt’s time of 48.59 ranked eighth overall among the field of 24 in the semifinal. However, fellow Jamaica Jaheel Hyde auto-qualified to the final with a slower time of 49.09 as runner-up in the first semifinal heat.
A challenging semifinal heat for Mowatt included Warholm, who won the heat in 48.00, followed by France’s Wilfried Happio (48.14), and USA’s Khallifah Rosser (48.34). Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos, the current world leader in 2022, led the field with a 47.85.
No events involve Razorbacks on Monday, but Tuesday’s events will have Britton Wilson and Shamier Little racing in the first round of the 400m hurdles.