Athletics-American Crouser overcomes blood clot to claim shot gold

Athletics - World Athletics Championship - Men's shot put - National Athletics Centre, Budapest, Hungary - August 19, 2023 Ryan Crouser of the U.S. in action during the final REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

BUDAPEST (Reuters) -Remarkable American Ryan Crouser continued his red-hot streak when he twice broke his own championship record and signed off with a huge 23.51 metres to win world championship shot put gold for the second time in a row on Saturday.

The double Olympic champion smashed his own world record in May with 23.56m and cranked out four efforts beyond 22 metres the enormous last one - the second-best throw in history - coming with the gold already secure. He did it despite undergoing medical treatment for two blood clots in his leg that had put his participation in doubt.

Leonardo Fabbri took a surprise silver for Italy with a personal best 22.34 – the first time he has gone beyond 22 metres. American Joe Kovacs won bronze with 22.12 to add to his glittering World Championship collection of two golds and two silvers in the event.

It was Crouser's night, however, as he maintained his incredible grip on the event with a performance that was all the more remarkable after he revealed on Friday the information about the blood clots.

"That was a tough one. The last throw was testament to all the hard work and dedication over the last year," he said. "The last few days have been hard, so with all that has happened it was a phenomenal throw.

"It's been the most stressful 20 days I've ever had. The week before I was supposed to leave I woke up with calf pain and we thought I had a partial tear in my calf. We treated it like that but after 10 days of no improvement we had a doctor look at it and he said you have two blood clots.

"Luckily I had a great medical team working with me and they got me safe to fly so it felt like a relief just to get here, even though I didn't have proper training or preparation.

"After all that it was the best performance of my life, given the health issues, the stress and all of it. It wasn't quite a world record but to me it was."

(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, Editing by Hugh Lawson and Pritha Sarkar)

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