World Athlete of the Year 2021 – spotlight on the men’s nominees

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Ryan Crouser (USA) shot put

To say that Ryan Crouser has dominated his event in 2021 would be one of the biggest understatements of the year.

Undefeated in all 15 competitions, the US shot putter threw beyond 22 metres an incredible 58 times. Only five other men in the world surpassed that barrier this year; indeed no other man in history has achieved more than 50 marks beyond 22 metres across an entire career.

Crouser smashed the world indoor record in his second competition of the year, throwing 22.82m. Five months later, he added the outdoor world record to his name with a heave of 23.37m at the US Olympic Trials. He came close to that mark when winning gold in Tokyo with an Olympic record of 23.30m, then upon his return to the USA he won in Eugene with a Wanda Diamond League record of 23.15m. A few weeks later, he won the Diamond trophy with another dominant display in Zurich.

Damian Warner (CAN) decathlon

A five-time medallist at past global championships, the Canadian decathlete finally secured his first major title by winning gold in Tokyo.

He did it in style, too, setting an Olympic record of 9018. Across the two days of competition, Warner equalled his own world decathlon best in the 100m (10.12) and set Olympic decathlon bests in the long jump (8.24m – farther than the bronze medal-winning distance in the individual event) and 110m hurdles (13.46). His winning score made him just the fourth man in history to surpass the 9000-point barrier.

Earlier in the season, he earned a record sixth victory at the Hypo Meeting in Götzis, scoring 8995. During that series, he set world decathlon best of 8.28m in the long jump – a mark which also broke the Canadian record – and 13.36 in the 110m hurdles.

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SOURCE: WORLD ATHLETICS

PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES

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