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Victory validates Cantwell's workouts

Reese Hoffa congratulates shot winner Christan Cantwell (Getty Images)Reese Hoffa congratulates shot winner Christan Cantwell (Getty Images) © Copyright

Producing one of the most consistent series ever in a World Indoor Championship, American Christian Cantwell regained the World title in the men's Shot Put from reigning champion Reese Hoffa.

His winning 21.77m toss from the fifth round was the fourth farthest winning effort ever at the World Championships, and dispensed easily with the best Hoffa, his arch rival and compatriot, could muster, a 21.20m put in the second round.

Their finish was a repeat of the 2004 final in Budapest, where Cantwell prevailed by 42cm with a 21.49m best.

Each of Cantwell’s five efforts – he fouled in round four – sailed beyond 21m, a barrier which only Hoffa was able to penetrate this evening. Opening with a 21.14 toss, Cantwell took the lead immediately, though Hoffa followed up his first round 20.31 with a solid 21.20 to wrestle back the lead. Cantwell responded with a 21.19 in the second round before taking back the lead in the third with a 21.59 heave, a performance surpassed this year by only world leader Adam Nelson and Cantwell himself. But he wasn’t finished.

He improved to 21.77 with his fifth throw and finished with another solid effort of 21.69m.

"This validates all the hard I’ve been over the past few years," said Cantwell, whose 22.18 PB from late last month moved him to No. 5 on the all-time list. He is only the second putter to win two World indoor titles. Ulf Timmerman of East Germany won back-to-back titles in 1987 and 1989.

Hoffa only managed three fair throws, but his lone effort beyond 21m was more than sufficient to take the silver medal, to finish the fourth 1-2 sweep for the U.S.

Tomasz Majewski reached a Polish national record of 20.93 in the third round to take the bronze, edging Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus, who managed 20.82, a season’s best.

Rutger Smith was a distant fifth (20.78) with Jamaican Dorian Scott (20.29) sixth.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF

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