Olympian Profile: Payton Otterdahl

Photo Courtesy of Kirby Lee at USA Today Sports


Payton Otterdahl needed a lifetime best throw to qualify for Tokyo in the men's shot put, and he was up to the challenge accomplishing a new lifetime best throw of 71' 11" to edge out 2016 Olympian Darrell Hill who was just one inch behind him for the last spot for the shot put team. 

His throw of 71' 11" is the seventh-best throw in the world this year. It appears that it will be a battle for the bronze medal in Tokyo as Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs have by far the two best throws this year, and they are the returning gold and silver medalists. His main competition appears to be 2016 bronze medalist Tomas Walsh, Michal Haratyk, and Filip Mihaljevic. 

123.37Ryan CROUSER18 DEC 1992USAUSA1Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA)18 JUN 20211323
222.72Joe KOVACS28 JUN 1989USAUSA1Jesse Owens Stadium, Columbus, OH (USA)01 MAY 20211284
322.34Darrell HILL17 AUG 1993USAUSA1Hilmer Lodge Stadium, Walnut, CA (USA)09 MAY 20211261
422.22Tomas WALSH01 MAR 1992NZLNZL1Bregyó Athletic Center, Székesfehérvár (HUN)06 JUL 20211254
522.17Michał HARATYK10 APR 1992POLPOL1Stadion AWF Warszawa, Warszawa (POL)15 MAY 20211251
621.94Filip MIHALJEVIĆ31 JUL 1994CROCRO1Stadion Branko Čavlović-Čavlek, Karlovac (CRO)05 JUN 20211237
721.92Payton OTTERDAHL02 APR 1996USAUSA3Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA)18 JUN 20211236

His throw of 21.92 meters is well over the standard it took to make it to the Olympics men's shot put finals in 2016. That year the last thrower to make it to the finals was O'Dayne Richards with a throw of 20.40. 

If he does make it to the finals, his throw of 21.92m would've been good enough for the silver medal in 2016. His average throw at the U.S. Team Trails was 21.02m (approx 69 feet). That average throw would've put him in a tie for 5th place at the 2016 Olympics. 

Otterdahl is the first former NDSU male track and field athlete to ever qualify for the Olympics.