Crouser hungry for more after world record

·3-min read
Ryan Crouser believes he can get better after shattering the 31-year-old world shot put record on Friday

Whether it's munching his way through 6,000 calories a day or hunting down world records, Ryan Crouser has always had a big appetite.

Now the giant Olympic shot put champion is hungry for more after smashing one of the longest-standing world records in track and field on Friday, his mammoth 23.37m heave eclipsing Randy Barnes' 1990 world record of 23.12.

For Crouser, 28, it was the end of a career-long pursuit that began when he used to pore over grainy videos of Barnes' 1990 world record throw to motivate him in training.

"I would watch that throw over and over again" the 6ft 7in, 320-pound Crouser said after his showstopping display at Hayward Field.

"My best throw in practice would always be Randy Barnes and I would have to beat that throw at the end of practice."

Crouser's monster effort also erased a questionable world record from the track and field history books.

Barnes was banned shortly after his world record in 1990 after testing positive for steroids.

The American won gold at the 1996 Olympics but was then banned for life in 1998 after testing positive for steroids a second time.

"The sport has changed so much since then, drug-testing has cleaned up the sport," Crouser said on Friday when asked about Barnes' tainted legacy.

"All I can say is that with the regimen of drug-testing we go through, I am happy that the world record is under the system that we are under -- It's awesome that we have a 100% clean world record in the shot put now."

- 'New era for shot put' -

Crouser, the 2016 Olympic champion, had already polished off one of Barnes's longstanding records earlier this year when he broke the world indoor record at a meeting in January.

That further fueled his conviction that Barnes's outdoor record was within his grasp.

"This one definitely meant a lot more, it's one that I've been after for a long, long time," Crouser said.

"When I started it was always a dream… when I was throwing by myself and I would put my hands above myself and be like, 'Ohhh, new world record!' I knew there was a possibility that I could do it since 2017. Which almost makes it more difficult."

While the world record monkey may now be off his back, Crouser believes he can still throw further, and had already identified components of his world record toss on Friday that could be improved.

"It's always about going out and trying to further my personal best," he said.

"I think I can go farther. There’s still room to get better… that was nowhere near the perfect throw."

Crouser will now turn his attention to next month's Olympics in Tokyo, where he will attempt to defend his title against rival Joe Kovacs, the 2019 world champion who finished second in Friday's shot put final.

"I'm happy he broke the record, it's been a long time coming," Kovacs said after Crouser's record.

"It's a new era for the shot put. The depth is better than ever."


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