In 1990 Randy Barnes set the shot put world record with a throw of 75 feet, 10 1/4 inches. For 30 years, the record stood as a mark of excellence that few ever thought would be surpassed.
The closest anyone had come to breaking the record was in 2019 when Joe Kovacs threw the shot 75 feet, 1 3/4 inches.
Breaking the record was unthinkable but the unthinkable happened in Eugene on Friday.
Oregon native Ryan Crouser shattered the 30-year-old record with a toss of 76 feet, 8 1/4 inches.
Throughout the day, Crouser was proving to be in top form. On his first throw of the qualifying round, Crouser had a throw of 75 feet, 2 1/2 inches, setting an Olympic Trials record... only to be broken with his world record toss in the finals.
Of his five official tosses in the finals, his worst throw was 73 feet, 11 3/4 inches. Joe Kovacs finished in second place on the day with a toss of 73 feet, 3 1/2 inches. Crouser's form was so perfect on the night that even his worst throw could have earned him a first-place finish.
“It still hasn’t quite set all the way in,” Crouser told reporters. “I got the indoor record this year. This one definitely meant a lot more. It was one that I’ve been after for a long, long time.”