It was only a matter of time.

With so many 22-metre throws to his name, and having moved up to equal third on the world outdoor all-time list and second on the indoor list, Ryan Crouser seemed destined to break a world shot put record sooner or later.

Making his first competitive appearance of 2021 at the American Track League fixture in Fayetteville – a World Athletics Indoor Tour silver meeting – the Olympic champion thankfully didn’t have to wait too long. With his first throw of the competition, Crouser blasted his 7.26kg shot out to the far side of the throwing sector and it just about landed on the edge of the matting.

After a few nervous minutes, the officials were able to confirm the distance: 22.82m*, an improvement of 16 centimetres on the world indoor record set by Randy Barnes back in 1989.

With additional mats now in place to help extend the throwing sector, Crouser threw 21.03m in round two and then once again sent his shot out beyond the old world indoor record with his third-round effort of 22.70m. His throws in the fourth and fifth rounds landed at a similar distance but both were fouls.

The 28-year-old rounded out his series with 22.48m – ‘just’ his third-best throw of the day, yet still a mark that only two other men in history have ever bettered indoors.

“It’s a pretty good start to 2021,” said Crouser. “It’s been a long road to get back to normal competition. I felt really nervous on the first throw, but I had a ton of energy. I feel like there’s more there.”