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.
|1||23.37||Ryan CROUSER||18 DEC 1992||USA||1||Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA)||18 JUN 2021||1323|
|2||22.72||Joe KOVACS||28 JUN 1989||USA||1||Jesse Owens Stadium, Columbus, OH (USA)||01 MAY 2021||1284|
|3||22.34||Darrell HILL||17 AUG 1993||USA||1||Hilmer Lodge Stadium, Walnut, CA (USA)||09 MAY 2021||1261|
|4||22.22||Tomas WALSH||01 MAR 1992||NZL||1||Bregyó Athletic Center, Székesfehérvár (HUN)||06 JUL 2021||1254|
|5||22.17||Michał HARATYK||10 APR 1992||POL||1||Stadion AWF Warszawa, Warszawa (POL)||15 MAY 2021||1251|
|6||21.94||Filip MIHALJEVIĆ||31 JUL 1994||CRO||1||Stadion Branko Čavlović-Čavlek, Karlovac (CRO)||05 JUN 2021||1237|
|7||21.92||Payton OTTERDAHL||02 APR 1996||USA||3||Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA)||18 JUN 2021||1236|
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.