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Joe Kovacs wins Diamond League Final shot put with historic throw

Joe Kovacs bests U.S. compatriot Ryan Crouser in the men's shot put at Diamond League Zurich with the third-longest throw in history at 23.23 meters.

American Joe Kovacs launched the third-farthest shot put in history to win the Diamond League Final in Zurich, Switzerland.

Kovacs, the Olympic and world silver medalist behind countryman Ryan Crouser, threw 23.23 meters to defeat Crouser at a second consecutive Swiss meet.

“It’s a milestone,” Kovacs told World Athletics. “I feel like there’s still more there.”

Crouser, who threw 22.74 on Wednesday, owns the two best throws in history -- 23.37 from last year’s Olympic Trials and 23.30 from the Tokyo Games.

Kovacs, a 33-year-old who was taught the shot put by his mom and coached by his wife, improved on his personal best of 22.91 that won the 2019 World Championships, where he defeated Crouser by one centimeter. That was Kovacs’ last win over Crouser until a Diamond League meet in Lausanne two weeks ago. Crouser recently recovered from long COVID.

The two-day Diamond League Final crowns season champions on track and field’s top international circuit. Winners can clinch spots in next year’s world championships in Budapest, unless they (or somebody from their country) already earned a spot by winning this year’s world title (as was the case in the men’s shot put).

Full Zurich results are here.

The Diamond League Final concludes Thursday with 26 finals, headlined on the track by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (100m), Noah Lyles (200m) and Faith Kipyegon (1500m). Peacock airs live coverage at 1 p.m. ET.

Also Wednesday, American Chase Ealey followed her world shot put title by winning her first Diamond League season title.

Kenyan Beatrice Chebet won the women’s 5000m in 14:31.03, edging countrywoman Margaret Kipkemboi by .49. The field included world champion Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia (third) and Olympic champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands (fifth).

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