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World Championships Preview: Men's Throws

World Championships Preview: Men’s Throws

| On 02, Aug 2013

Photo courtesy TrackTownPhoto

Over the last two days we’ve previewed the multis (decathlon and heptathlon) and women’s throwing events for the upcoming World Championships in Moscow. Now we shift to the men’s throwing events.

Shot Put

Qualifying: August 15 (Thursday), 2:20am ET
Final: August 16 (Friday), 12:10pm ET
2011 World champion: David Storl (Germany)
2012 Olympic champion: Tomasz Majewski (Poland)
2013 World leader: Ryan Whiting (USA)
2013 Diamond Race leader: Whiting

The Favorites: Americans Ryan Whiting and Reese Hoffa have dominated shot putting this year. Whiting has lost only twice, both times to Hoffa, and has the season’s five longest throws. If this were a Diamond League meet then I’d have no reservations saying that the USA would win gold and silver. But Americans have come into past Worlds and Olympics as prohibitive favorites and come out beaten, so I’m less confident of gold than the numbers say I should be.

The Americans: Hoffa’s status as defending Diamond League champion gets him a “wild card” and that gives the USA four entries. Zach Lloyd and Cory Martin are quality throwers but outside shots to medal. Expect all four Americans to be finalists.
US medal chances: Virtually certain

The Canadians: Dylan Armstrong won Worlds silver two years ago and could win a medal again. Tim Nedow will need to be on his game in order to qualify to the final.
Canadian medal chances: Good

The others: Olympic champ Tomasz Majewski is well off his form of previous years and doesn’t look like a contender, and defending champion David Storl is in somewhat the same situation. Possible medal contenders include some new names: Argentina’s Germán Lauro and Ladislav Prásil, a 23-year-old Czech

Bottom line: The USA rules this event and looks to break a four-year losing streak.


Qualifying: August 12 (Monday), 1:40am ET
Final: August 13 (Tuesday), 11:00am ET
2011 World champion: Robert Harting (Germany)
2012 Olympic champion: Harting
2013 World leader: Piotr Malachowski (Poland)
2013 Diamond Race leader: Malachowski

The Favorites: Two-time defending world champion Robert Harting had a 35-meet win streak snapped in June by Piotr Malachowski, whose winning throw put him at #5 on the all-time world list. Harting beat Malachowski in their other three head-to-head meetings, so the German is probably still the favorite, but less so than he has been in the past.

The American: US champion Lance Brooks only got the requisite qualifying mark late in the season and is not expected to make the final.
US medal chances: Virtually zero

The others: Harting was also beaten by teammate Martin Weirig, who should fight for a medal with Estonia’s Gerd Kanter. Iran’s Ehsan Hadadi, the Olympic silver medalist, would figure as a medal threat too, but it appears he’s given the Iranian federation the middle finger and probably will not be in Moscow. Two others to watch are Australians Benn Harradine and Julian Wruck (who will return to UCLA for his senior year in 2014).

Bottom line: Harting versus Malachowski.


Qualifying: August 10 (Saturday), 9:05am ET
Final: August 12 (Monday), 12:30pm ET
2011 World champion: Koji Murofushi (Japan)
2012 Olympic champion: Krisztián Pars (Hungary)
2013 World leader: Pars
2013 IAAF Hammer Challenge leader: Pars

The Favorite: Krisztián Pars is undefeated and has the world’s best throw (and five of the ten throws over 80 meters).

The American: A.G. Kruger is the lone entrant, his seventh time on a Worlds or Olympic team, but he has never made the finals.
US medal chances: Virtually zero

The others: Lukás Melich of the Czech Republic is the next most consistent thrower after Pars, followed by Tajikistan’s Dilshod Nazarov and Slovenia’s Primoz Kozmus. Sergej Litvinov threw far at the Russian Championships but still looks like less of a medal contender than the above.

Bottom line: Olympic champion Pars has been on an unpward trend for years and there’s no reason to doubt it will continue.


Qualifying: August 15 (Thursday), 1:30am ET
Final: August 17 (Saturday), 10:35am ET
2011 World champion: Matthias de Zordo (Germany)
2012 Olympic champion: Keshorn Walcott (Trinidad)
2013 World leader: Dmitriy Tarabin (Russia)
2013 Diamond Race leader: Vítezslav Veselý (Czech Republic)

The Favorites: The javelin has a reputation as an event prone to inconsistency and it’s living up to it this year. Three athletes have been more or less above the rest–Vítezslav Veselý (Czech Republic), Tero Pitkämäki (Finland) and Dmitri Tarabin (Russia)–but it’s a complete toss-up for gold.

The Americans: Riley Dolezal was a complete unknown at the US championships but came through with a 30-foot PR to make the team. Neither he nor NCAA champion Sam Humphreys are expected to make the final.
US medal chances: Virtually zero

The others: Last year’s surprise Olympic champion, Trinidad’s Keshorn Walcott, is well off his 2012 form. Ditto for Julius Yego, Kenya’s self-coached-via-Youtube sensation. The medal challengers include Andreas Thorkildsen (Norway), Kim Amb (Sweden), Ari Mannio (Finland), Guillermo Martínez (Cuba) and Yukifumi Murakami (Japan).

Bottom line: Any of eight athletes could win.


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