Daegu, Korea – World leader Dylan Armstrong and all of the other likely contenders for the Shot Put medals progressed into the final although 2005 champion Adam Nelson almost bowed out and Ralf Bartels, third two years ago in Berlin, struggled when not hitting the automatic qualifier of 20.60m.
The best throw in the scorching morning heat of the Daegu 2011 stadium came from David Storl at 21.50m (career best) and if the 21-year-old German, a product of the IAAF’s bi-annual global competitions schedule, can snatch a surprise victory in Thursday’s final he will add a gold medal to his World Youth and Junior successes.
2003 winner and two-time bronze medallist Andrei Mikjnevich from Belarus who hit top form just before the Championships throwing 22.10m the second best in the world behind Armstrong’s (22.21m) , had in that first Group had already produced a put of 20.73m while Poland’s Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski who took silver in Berlin opened with 20.73m.
Only that trio and the USA’s Ryan Whiting a fourth member of the powerful American group of entertaining shot putters, with a second round effort of 20.73m went into the final by right.
Later Bartels (20.45m) who won his first of two bronze medals in 2005 and Nelson (20.23m) a three-time silver medallist plus Serbia’s Asmir Kolasinac (20.14m) were added to the list.
Nelson who has collected medals from every Olympic or World Championships since the 2000 Sydney Olympics until Osaka seven years later, really had an off day finishing second bottom of the qualifiers leaderboard at the conclusion of the competition.
Armstrong, the current leader on the Samsung Diamond League global track and field tour, led the second group of qualifiers when reaching out with his second attempt to a distance of 21.05m and now will be bidding to win Canada’s first ever medal in the discipline.
There was only one first round attempt qualifier and that came from Reese Hoffa the champion in Osaka four years ago who finished his day’s work by quickly throwing 20.96m. Christian Cantwell the reigning title holder made progress with his 20.73m put in the next.
But it was a tame round with Portugal’s Ibero-American champion Marco Fortes and Carlos Veliz – the Cuban ranks ninth in the world – getting into the final of the top 12 throwers with efforts of 20.32m and 20.24m.
Lauren Lee and David Martin for the IAAF