This was a one hit competition but what a hit. World champion Adam Nelson (USA) took this four round competition by the scruff of the neck with his first attempt, launching his Shot to 21.92, a World Athletics Final (WAF) record.
Nelson, who without a major sponsor was again competing with “Space to Rent” printed on his T-Shirt, always looks a very focused athlete, his eyes and manner creating a menacing image for the few minutes before each put, before returning to their usual calm expression after releasing the shot. This afternoon he looked more hyped-up than ever and that showed in his fiery performance which dominated the opposition.
Defending WAF winner Joachim Olsen (DEN) made his own first impression with 20.50 which held second at the end of the opening attempts but it was bypassed by Ralf Bartels (Ger) in the second with 20.53, and then American Reese Hoffa with his third of 20.75. However, the Dane’s high quality punch came immediately in response, 21.03 recapturing second, moving Hoffa to third, and Bartels to fourth.
The final flush of effort brought 20.87 and 20.85 puts from Hoffa and Olsen respectively in the last round.
All this while Nelson’s determination to secure an even more impressive advertisement of his talents had left him unbalanced in the circle with the result that he followed his opening heave with three consecutive fouls. Still the competition and 30,000USD first prize was already secure.