Two stalwarts , well past their thirties, but very much in their prime, are Christian Cantwell and Resse Hoffa. All set to clinch medals for their country, probably for the very last time, would love to erase the memories of Beijing. The Big Three from the United States were expected to do a clean sweep in the event four years ago. In 2008 , after qualifying for the finals only Cantwell performed, but lost the Gold to Poland’s Tomasz Majewski.
Shot putters from the United States of America are dominating the current Shot Put scenario since the last decade or so. In fact, due to the 3 athletes per event, per country rule, Adam Nelson, Kurt Robess and Joe Kovacscould not book a ticket to London. Adam, Kurt and Joe all have throws above 21m and are placed in the World top 10 charts.
World Leading Shot Put Throwers in 20121. Christian Cantwell (USA) 22.31m2. Resse Hoffa (USA) 22.00m3. Ryan Whiting (USA) 21.66m4. Tomasz Majewski (POL) 21.60m5. David Storl (GER) 21.58m
Adam Nelson : Having worked at a concession stand in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Adam went on to win silver at the 2000 Sydney games. Throwing the steel ball at 21.16m in Athens 2004, Adam lost the Gold to Ukrainian Yuriy Bilonog, who threw exactly the same distance in his final attempt, which Nelson could not replicate. On a famous night in Beijing four years later it turned out to be a tragedy, as Adam Nelson’s was fouled on all three occasions.
Om Prakash Singh with a personal best of 20.69m is ranked 20th in the World and seeded 15th at the London Olympics. The 25 year old National Record holder from Haryana came into the limelight in 2005 at the World Juniors where he finished a creditable 6th. A similar performance in London 2012 is expected from OP.
The qualifying round will take place among 50 odd athletes in the morning. Then on that very same day, the top 12 qualifiers will compete in the finals, which will have three throws initially to narrow down to top-8 athletes, and then a three throw shoot out among them will decide the top 3 positions. For Om Prakash to qualify in the top 12, which he can, a throw greater than 20m might be enough. To earn a place in the last round, another meter, which would mean a new personal best would be required.
Predictions :GOLD : Christian Cantwell (USA)SILVER : Resse Hoffa (USA)BRONZE : Dylan Armstrong (CAN)