ZURICH (AP) — Two-time Olympic silver medalist Joe Kovacs set the third-longest mark in shot put history Wednesday with a throw of 23.23 meters at the Diamond League finals.
Kovacs became just the fourth man ever to go beyond 23 meters with only United States teammate Ryan Crouser, who he beat in Zurich, ahead of him in the record book.
“It feels good to finally tick the box and be a 23-meter shot putter,” Kovacs said. “There is a bigger throw left in there. I know that Ryan will throw further so I will have to throw even further next year.”
The 33-year-old Kovacs had a previous best of 22.91 set when he won his second world title in 2019 in Doha, Qatar.
Crouser set the world record of 23.37 last year at the U.S. Olympic trials and then clinched the gold medal in Tokyo at 23.30 to retain his Olympic title.
The only other men in shot put’s exclusive club did it more than three decades ago.
In 1988, Ulf Timmermann of East Germany was first with a 23.06 throw, and American Randy Barnes extended the world record to 23.12 in 1990 that stood for 31 years.
Kovacs was the standout performer in the first round of Diamond League finals held in a public square in downtown Zurich. The main part of the storied Weltklasse meet is Friday at the Letzigrund stadium in the Swiss city.
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