Friday marked the official opening of the 2016 USA Track & Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, and Olympic spots were determined in the men’s shot put and men’s 10,000-meter competitions. Three athletes qualified for next month’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in each event, with Ryan Crouser winning the men’s shot put competition and Galen Rupp pulling away to win the men’s 10,000-meter final.
Oregon Native Crouser Wins Men’s Shot Put Final
Ryan Crouser, who entered the trials considered by many as one of the best in the world in the shot put this season, did what was expected and earned a trip to Rio for next month’s Olympic Games. Crouser’s second round attempt traveled a distance of 72 feet, 6 1/2 inches, which placed him atop the 12-man field. Crouser will make his first Olympic team, as are the other two athletes who will represent the United States in the shot put.
Also qualifying for the United States Olympic Team were Joe Kovacs and Darrell Hill, with Kovacs finishing second with a put of 72 feet, 1/4 inch in the sixth and final round. That attempt came just after his trip to Rio was sewn up, as fourth-place finisher Ryan Whiting was unable to pass Kovacs’ previous high of 69 feet, 2 1/2 inches. Kovacs is the reigning world outdoor champion in the shot put.
Reese Hoffa, who won a bronze medal in the shot put four years ago, finished fifth and did not qualify for the Olympics this time around.
Galen Rupp Wins Men’s 10,000 Meter Final
Back in February Galen Rupp earned a spot on the United States Track & Field Team by winning the marathon trial. Friday night he guaranteed himself a spot in the Olympic 10,000 meter race as well by winning the U.S. Olympic Trial final in the event. Rupp, who pulled away from second-place finisher Shadrack Kipchirchir about halfway through the final lap, finished with a time of 27:55.04.
Rupp isn’t done at the Olympic Trials either, as he will attempt to qualify for the Olympics in the 5,000 meters as well. The qualifying round in that discipline is scheduled for Monday, with the final taking place next Friday.
Qualifying for the Olympics with Rupp in the 10,000 meters were the aforementioned Kipchirchir, who finished with a time of 28:01.52, and Leonard Korir. Korir, who along with Kipchirchir runs for the U.S. Army, finished at 28:16.97, beating fourth-place finisher Scott Fauble by nearly 29 seconds. 41-year old Bernard Lagat, who was attempting to qualify for a fifth Summer Olympics, withdrew from the race after just over 7,200 meters due to injury.
Live results for the Olympic Trials can be found on the USA Track & Field website at this link.