Adam Nelson Moves to Numero 3-22.40m, 73-6!


Adam Nelson is a renaissance man. Nelson is what Socrates spoke of when he suggested that man, to be truly man, must respect the intellect and the physical. Have a few minutes of conversation with Nelson, Hoffa, Cantwell and one sees thoughtful men who are called to throw a sixteen pound steel ball as far as they can.

Adam Nelson is also an man of immense complication. He turned down sponsorship for many years because it was not, on his terms.

Adam Nelson is at a place where he is now, at one with the athletic universe. His 22.40 meter throw in Fayetteville, has put the sixteen pound steel ball he calls a shot put farther than anyone has thrown in many years.

Nelson is not a big guy. But, dear readers, take a minute and watch Nelson's feet in the ring. He is the fastest man inthe shot ring, and WHEN he is on, when the stars align, Nelson is healthy and believes in himself, the results, as Bob Ramsak reported, are, like an album of John Coltrane, sublime.


by Bob Ramsak
(c) 2008 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved

Adam Nelson is on fire.

At the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Friday night, the 32-year-old American won the shot put with a massive 22.40m (73-6) effort, to move up to the No. 3 spot among throwers all-time.

"I'm in the best shape I have ever been in," said Nelson, whose winning throw was the farthest the world has witnessed in more than 19 years. "I could have thrown a lot farther."

Only world record holder Randy Barnes (22.66m) and Ulf Timmermann, the 1988 Olympic champion from the former East Germany (22.55) have thrown farther indoors.

"I started three weeks ago with some unexpected (strong) throwing," said Nelson, who threw 22.07 at the Millrose Games on Feb. 1 in New York City to become only the seventh man to throw beyond 22m (72-2 1/4) indoors. He is also approaching his outdoor best throw of 22.51m (73-10 1/4) from 2002, a good sign as Nelson prepares for the outdoor season.

"The indoor season this year is great preparation for the outdoor season, because it's all about the Olympics this year."

Beijing will hold special meaning for Nelson this year, after collecting back-to-back Olympic silver medal performances in Sydney and Athens.

Next up for nelson is next weekend's national championships, the selection meet for the U.S. team for next month's World indoor Championships in Valencia, Spain.

Reese Hoffa, the reigning world champion indoors and outdoors, was second, with a 21.14m (69-4.25) best.

Another highlight at the meet, the fourth stop on the five-meet USA Track & Field Visa Championship Series, was Wallace Spearmon Jr.'s 20.19 victory in the 200m, easily the quickest performance of the year. And his performance, the fifth fastest of all-time, came without any special preparation, Spearmon, a two-time world championships medallist outdoors, said.

"I haven't done any speed work, I didn't train for this," said Spearmon, who set the U.S. indoor record of 20.10 on the same fast track at the University of Arkansas in 2005.

"(Tonight) was a great opener, but not what I hoped for. I feel like if I ran one more, I would have gotten (the American record). When I got to 110 (meters), I felt myself start to lag and get a little tired, so I rested a little bit. I should have just pushed through it."

For Spearmon too, at 23 hoping to make his first Olympic appearance this summer, his performance bodes well.

"I put my name on the radar. I gave my competitors something to look at. I'll be ready for the outdoor season."

Other leading performances included Jenn Stuczynski's 4.64m victory in the women's pole vault over Lacy Janson and Jillian Schwartz, who each also topped out at the same height; Irishman Alistair Cragg's 13:32.01 victory in the 5000m; and LSU standout Trindon Holliday's victory in the 60m in 6.60 over reigning world indoor champion Leonard Scott (6.62), who won at the Millrose Games two weeks ago.

Nick Willis of New Zealand (3:55.93) and Christin Wurth-Thomas (4:27.18) produced solid victories in their respective mile races. For Willis it was a 2008 world leader and for Wurth-Thomas, an Arkansas alum who still trains on this track, a venue record and the fastest by an American this season.


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