(Reuters) – Olympic champion Ryan Crouser shook off a recent fever to dominate the men’s shot put at the U.S. indoor championships in New York on Saturday.
Feb 23, 2019; Staten Island, NY, USA; Ryan Crouser wins the shot put at 72-10 3/4 (22.22m) during the USATF Indoor Championships at Ocean Breeze Athletic Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
“I was struggling the last couple of weeks of high fever, sore throat and I almost called off the meet but I’m really happy,” said the 2016 Rio Games gold medallist
Crouser turned aside 2015 world champion Joe Kovacs with four of the longest throws in the competition, his fourth-round heave of 22.22 metres clinching the victory.
The mark was the ninth best ever in the event indoors and just off his 2019 leading performance of 22.33 metres.
Kovacs took second with a best throw of 21.40 metres.
Vashti Cunningham, the 2016 world indoor champion, easily won her fourth consecutive national high jump title. The daughter of retired National Football League quarterback Randall Cunningham cleared 1.96 metres.
Steeplechaser Colleen Quigley used a strong finish to upset reigning U.S. champion Shelby Houlihan in the women’s mile in 4:29.47 and the fastest times of the year were set in the infrequently run 300 metres and two mile.
Andrew Hunter surprisingly claimed the two mile from the slow section in 8:25.29 and Brittany Brown won the 300m in 35.95 seconds.
With no world indoor championships this year, only a limited number of U.S. elite performers are competing in the two-day meeting.
The late scheduling of the outdoor world championships, which will take place in Doha in September, also has affected indoor participation this year with athletes choosing to train instead.
Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina, editing by Nick Mulvenney