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Olympic Champs Ryan Crouser, Katie Nageotte Win Again In Massive Day For Team USA At Track Worlds

by Paul D. Bowker

(L-R) Joe Kovacs, Ryan Crouser and Josh Awotunde pose for a photo during the medal ceremony of the men's shot put final at the 2022 World Athletics Championships on July 17, 2022 in Eugene, Ore.


Oregon native Ryan Crouser and American teammate Joe Kovacs put on a grand show again Sunday night.
Crouser, the two-time reigning Olympic gold medalist and world record holder, overcame the defending world champion Kovacs in front of an enthusiastic Hayward Field crowd to lead the second Team USA podium sweep in as many days at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Crouser, of Boring, Oregon, trailed Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, native Kovacs in the fifth of six rounds in the men’s shot put final. But Crouser delivered a powerful heave of 22.94 meters to take the lead just after Kovacs went a season-best 22.89 meters as the crowd at Hayward Field roared. The performance not only won the competition for Crouser but also set a championship record. And he did it at a stadium (albeit rebuilt) where he’s competed since he was in grade school.
“I remember throwing in this ring when I was 12 years old,” said Crouser, now 29. “Seventeen years later, this is more that I could ever dreamed of.”
Josh Awotunde completed the Team USA sweep by throwing 22.29 meters to win a bronze medal, his first career world championships medal. The men’s shot put sweep followed another U.S. sweep in the men’s 100-meter Saturday, led by Fred Kerley.
Kovacs displayed three fingers for a U.S. sweep as he walked past the crowd and a TV camera.
“We always say we’re the best shot put country, and today we proved it,” said Kovacs, who finished second behind Crouser at each of the last two Olympic Games. “We got three medals. We are really excited to have this for the U.S.”
The shot put medals were just part of a huge day for Team USA, with American athletes winning nine medals Sunday, including four golds. In three days of the meet, the U.S. has won 14 medals, including two sweeps and six gold medals.
Just minutes before Crouser won the men’s shot put, Olympic women’s pole vault champion Katie Nageotte went toe-to-toe with fellow American Sandi Morris for that world title. Both successfully cleared 4.85 meters and fell short at 4.90, but Nageotte won via tiebreaker.
“I just tried not to think too much about the things that happened earlier,” said Nageotte, of Powder Springs, Georgia. “I am proud of the jumps that I had.”
Morris missed out on the finals at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 when her pole broke in the prelims. She now has three world championships silver medals to go with the Olympic silver medal she won at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
“After Tokyo, this silver medal hurts more than any because I was like: maybe this was my turn,” she said. “But it just was not. I am going to stand up and fight even harder next year.”
Just minutes after that, Olympic silver medalist Grant Holloway led a one-two U.S. finish in the men’s 110 hurdles. He won in 13.03 seconds, followed by Trey Cunningham in 13.08 seconds.
“At the start, it was just me, my lane and my space, and I was ready for whatever happens,” Holloway, of Gainesville, Florida, said. “I am really excited for my second world title outdoors.”

Grant Holloway competes during the men's 100-meter hurdles semifinals at the 2022 World Athletics Championships on July 17, 2022 in Eugene, Ore.


The race appeared primed for another U.S. sweep when Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment, the defending Olympic champion, pulled out with an injury during warm-ups. However, Devon Allen, a two-time Olympian who had the fastest time in the world this season, was disqualified for a false start when his reaction time was deemed to have been .001 too fast.
And earlier Sunday, in the women’s hammer throw, Brooke Andersen, a 2020 Olympian from Vista, California, won her first world title with a distance of 78.96 meters.
“It hasn’t really quite set in yet,” said Andersen, who placed 10th in her Olympic debut in Tokyo last year. “I was looking out across the field and I thought to myself, ‘I’m a world champion.’”
Joining her on the medal stand was Janee’ Kassanavoid, a three-time All-American and now a volunteer assistant coach at Kansas State University who finished runner-up to Anderson at the USATF Outdoor Championships three weeks ago in Eugene. Kassanavoid won the bronze medal with a throw of 74.86 meters.
Solidly in the gold-medal spot in the final round of competition, Andersen twirled around in her throwing position and shouted as she let the hammer fly in her sixth and final throw. It added more than a meter to her existing top throw.
It was the final stamp on a performance that earned Andersen her first world championship after winning her first national championship last month at Hayward Field.
“We’re doing great as a team,” Kassanavoid said. “I’m super happy and super proud of everyone. We’re working extremely hard.”
In the last final of the night Sunday, Americans Aleia Hobbs and Melissa Jefferson finished sixth and eighth, respectively, in the women's 100-meter, with the iconic Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce leading a podium sweep for Jamaica.
Sunday also saw the first of two days of competition in the women’s heptathlon. Michelle Atherley, of Coral Gables, Florida, had the top time in the 100 hurdles at 13.12 seconds, but it was fellow Floridian Anna Hall who ended the first four events in the higher position. The Gainesville native’s career-best 200-meter time of 23.08 seconds boosted Hall to third place in the competition with 3,991 points. The event concludes Monday with the long jump, javelin throw and 800-meter run.
In the earlier session, Grant Fisher, a 2020 Olympian from Portland, Oregon, missed a podium finish by less than a second in the men’s 10,000. He finished in 27:28.14 to place fourth, trailing bronze medalist Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda, who completed the race in 27:27.97.
Rai Benjamin, a two-time Olympic medalist, is one of three Americans who advanced to Tuesday's 400 hurdles final. Benjamin, the silver medalist in the event at Tokyo, won his heat in 48.44 seconds, slowing at the finish line because he was nearly a half second ahead of runner-up Jaheel Hyde of Jamaica. Joining him in the final are American teammates Khallifah Rosser and Trevor Bassitt.

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. Hes is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.