Berlin Diary 09, Day 1, Men's Shot Put Final: Christian Cantwell Wins Gold, 22.03m! by Larry Eder

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Christian Cantwell, World Champs 2009, Berlin, August 15, 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Christian Cantwell is a man of huge stature. He is a student of the shot put. He has spent the last decade working on his craft, perfecting his craft. He is a world class shot putter with promise. Much promise. Now, Christian Cantwell is the best shot putter in the world. He is the 2009 World Champion. And he did it in a grand way, one a grand stage, with the best competitors in the world: the current Olympic champion, the 2003, 2005 and 2007 World Champions, and, on his last throw. In a herculean competition, Christian Cantwell showed that he no longer has promise-he knows how, in the cruelest of sports stages, on a last throw, to respond. The young man from the state of Missouri, the Show Me State, showed the world wit his world leading throw of 22.03 meters! Read on, fans of athletics!

Well, the state of Missouri is celebrating tonight as, for the first time since 1924, as Christian Cantwell, all six foot six, took the challenge, and won his outdoor World Champ medal the old fashioned way-he earned it!

Cantwell took the lead in the first round with a fine 21.54. By the end of round one, four throwers were over 21 meters: Cantwell, Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski at 21.36, Reese Hoffa at 21.02 and Adam Nelson at 21.11.

In round three, the pride of Germany, Ralf Bartels threw his personal best of 21.37m, and the crowd went crazy. Hoffa was pushed to fourth, Nelson to fifth.

Adam Nelson, the 2005 World Champion, failed to improve. His last four throws were fouls. Andrei Mikhnevich, the 2003 World Champion, got out to 20.74 in round five, and would finish seventh.

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Cantwell leads the shot put...photo by PhotoRun.net.

What is a champion? In this writer's mind, a champion is one who can find something deep inside one's self, and control it, so that during a competition, that controlled aggression (as 76 Olympian Mike Durkin would call it) comes out with a clutch performance.

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Tomasz Majewski takes the lead...photo by PhotoRun.net.


Tomasz Majewski of Poland is like that. Majewski took the lead in round five, with a 21.68m throw. Cantwell then threw 21.21m. In round six, Tomasz Majewski gave it his all, and threw 21.91, just .02m off his personal best.

Later, Cantwell recounted what was going on inside his head: "During the competition, I felt like I was rushing my throw, so I told myself to just slow down. "

Christian Cantwell wanted this medal bad. He was not happy with his silver in 2008, knowing that he left some great performances somewhere. Not here though, not in Berlin. Cantwell, controlling his aggression today, went into the ring, and let her rip, as the shot stayed in the air a long time! The crowd knew, Christian knew and then the world knew--22.03 meters, the world leader!

Christian Cantwell had his gold! Tomasz Majewski had his silver and Ralf Bartels, after a nice bear hug from Christian Cantwell, had his countries bronze medal!

After the competition, Christian had this to say about his performance: "I have won medals in the past but not this one. To win it in that fashion is even more exciting. I hope the crowd enjoyed it as much as we did. The level of the competition was very high with 6 athletes at 21m, so to win a competition like this, that makes me feel better....I knew that when it left my hand that (the winning throw) was a good one.I was pretty happy at the quality of the competition, and I hope everyone watching enjoyed it as well. It's a pretty awesome feeling to be in this deep of a competition."

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Christian Cantwell, gold medalist, WC 2009 Men's Shot Put, photo by PhotoRun.net.

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12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics
Berlin (GER) - Saturday, Aug 15, 2009
Shot Put - M Final

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15 August 2009 - 20:15
Position Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 1170 Christian Cantwell USA 22.03 (WL)
2 907 Tomasz Majewski POL 21.91 .
3 524 Ralf Bartels GER 21.37 (PB)
4 1188 Reese Hoffa USA 21.28 .
5 1210 Adam Nelson USA 21.11 (SB)
6 199 Pavel Lyzhyn BLR 20.98 (PB)
7 200 Andrei Mikhnevich BLR 20.74 .
8 1039 Miroslav Vodovnik SLO 20.50 (SB)
9 191 Hamza Alic BIH 20.00 .
10 1018 Pavel Sofin RUS 19.89 .
11 515 Carl Myerscough GBR 18.42 .
. 563 Peter Sack GER NM .
Athlete 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Christian Cantwell 21.54 20.72 21.03 21.21 22.03 -
Tomasz Majewski 21.36 21.19 20.80 21.68 21.91 21.18
Ralf Bartels 20.35 20.18 21.37 20.80 20.94 21.20
Reese Hoffa 21.02 X 20.95 21.14 20.97 21.28
Adam Nelson 21.11 20.93 X X X X
Pavel Lyzhyn X 20.98 X X X X
Andrei Mikhnevich 20.34 20.31 20.62 20.74 20.54 X
Miroslav Vodovnik 19.60 19.50 20.50 X 19.82 20.14
Hamza Alic 20.00 X 19.80
Pavel Sofin 19.89 19.69 19.85
Carl Myerscough 18.42 X X
Peter Sack X X X

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