Ryan Crouser spins to victory in Monaco (Philippe Fitte) © Copyright
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Crouser and Gong take portside shot put wins in Monaco

US Olympic shot put champion Ryan Crouser confirmed here at Port Hercule that he's back in business after the injury he sustained last month as he returned to win at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco on Thursday (19) with a fourth-round best of 22.05m.

His conclusive effort followed a dominant performance in the women’s event by China’s world champion Gong Lijiao, who produced a final best of 20.31m.

Crouser, who was hurt in last month’s US Championships, re-announced himself as a major force in the event here.

Try as they might in the temporary venue set up at the corner of the Quai Antoine, no one was able to get back to the US thrower after his big flourish.

Compatriot Darrell Hill, the defending IAAF Diamond League champion, secured second place with a fifth-round best of 21.72m, with Brazil's Darlan Romani elevating himself to third place with a final-round effort of 21.70m.

It was a measure of Gong’s superiority on the day that her next four best throws, 20.06m, 20.02m, 19.90m and 19.89m, would also have been sufficient to win. Awesome consistency.

Meanwhile Raven Saunders of the United States, who has managed a third and a sixth place on the circuit so far, confirmed her best finish by taking second place in a season's best of 19.67m, ahead of Germany's Christina Schwanitz, who reached 19.51m.

The tall, strong figure of New Zealand's double Olympic and quadruple world champion Valerie Adams – back to top competition having given birth last October – looked very satisfied with progress afterwards. Chalk still smudged on the side of her neck, Adams went round to share hugs with her fellow competitors – leaning down in the most part – having finished fourth with a season's best of 19.31m.

Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF