By Chris Chavez
May 28, 2023
LOS ANGELES – Two-time Olympic champion Ryan Crouser broke his own world record in the shot put at the Los Angeles Grand Prix. He nearly ran out of space to throw as he launched the shot 23.56 meters, surpassing his previous record of 23.37 meters set during the U.S. Olympic Trials in June 2021.
Here’s what else you need to know:
– This was the best day of Crouser’s career. He threw 23.56 meters, 23.31, and 23.23 on the day at UCLA’s Drake Stadium. With his latest performance, he now possesses the top four throws ever recorded in the sport, while his 23.23-meter throw ties for the fifth-best in history.
– In February, Crouser started experimenting with a new technique called “The Crouser Slide.” The move is far from perfect but his showing in Los Angeles was a major development.
– With the perfect throw using his technique, Crouser believes that a mark in the 23.70 range could happen. He also believes that 24 meters is “humanly possible.”
What he said:
“In Round 1, I let it go and thought, ‘Oh, that’s decent. A little wide. I was off-balance. We can fix a few things.’ And then when it went over 23m, I thought, ‘Oh! I can throw a PR today.’ Anytime you miss a throw at 23 meters in an early round, you have to fight the intrusive thoughts telling you to go in and blast it…I had to fight the thought to really smash it and focus on the technique. I’m happy with how I corrected and continue to improve. Overall, that was my best series by far. I’m really, really happy – not just with the world record but a consistent series early in the season like that.”
On the moment it came off his hands:
“I knew it was good. I don’t have that refined feeling of throwing hard quite yet. At Trials, before I even let that one go, I knew it was good. Today, I’m still working on that proprioception of really feeling those far throws out. I let it go and thought, ‘Oh! That’s better! I didn’t know if it was going to be 23.20 or 24 meters. I knew it was good. It’s a BIG PR. I’m excited about how I can continue to develop that high-intensity throw so that I know right away when they’re good. I’m lacking high-intensity throws right now.”
How far can the perfect throw with the Crouser Slide go?
“I think 23-high for sure is possible. You have those outlier throws. Simplot was a prime example where going in I thought 22.50 or 22.70 would be a really good throw. 23.38 came out of nowhere and surprised myself. That was 70 centimeters farther than I was expecting to throw. You always have to chase those. So if I’m in 23.70 shape and have a 70-centimeter surprise then that would be a great one. I think 23.70 is very possible and a conservative estimate. I think 24 is humanly possible. At that point, you’re kind of playing with magic and hoping to catch lightning in a bottle is probably the best way to say it. I think it’s possible but a tough thing to put your thumb on and guarantee that it’s going to happen.”
From The Lap Count Newsletter:
Does everyone appreciate how cool this is? Ryan Crouser, the self-coached best-shot putter ever, leveraged his engineering background to invent a new technique to throw even farther! Crouser beat the old game and then changed how it’s played.
Rather than starting at the very back of the ring, Ryan begins his sequence just off to the side, and “Crouser slides” himself to the back for added momentum. It will likely become the Fosbury flop of the 21st century.
The mark would have been a home run had Crouser managed to throw it just a bit farther than the 23.56m that he did – the wall was only 24 meters from the ring. The architects didn’t build a big enough cage for a monster like this, one who unironically says that he hasn’t even started speedwork yet.
Crouser’s previous world record of 23.37m was actually bettered by himself indoors at the Simplot Games. However, that mark of 23.38m was never ratified – the ground he launched it from did not pass regulations. I wouldn’t dare take this one away from him.
Chris Chavez launched CITIUS MAG in 2016 as a passion project while working full-time for Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and grew his humble blog into a multi-pronged media company. He completed all six World Marathon Majors and is an aspiring sub-five-minute miler.