TOKYO (KXAN) — Former Texas Longhorn Ryan Crouser is again breaking records in the shot put.
The 2016 Olympic gold medalist broke the Olympic record Thursday to claim his second shot put gold medal in as many Games. Crouser earned the first gold for the U.S. men’s track and field team at the Tokyo Olympics with a throw of 23.3 meters. Fellow American Joe Kovacs finished with silver.
The defending Olympic champion was certainly the favorite to repeat.
Crouser finished first in qualifying with the best-ever qualifying mark of 22.05 meters. The previous best was 21.59 meters.
The Portland, Oregon native broke the 31-year-old shot put world record, previously held by American Randy Barnes, at the U.S. track and field trials in June, hitting a mark of 23.37 meters.
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The Texas Longhorns now have a connection to the first gold medals for U.S. men’s and women’s track and field teams in Tokyo.
Crouser snapped the men’s streak Thursday. Longhorns volunteer assistant Valarie Allman won the first gold for the U.S. women’s team in the discus Monday.
After winning the gold, Crouser showed the world a handwritten note for his grandfather.
“A special moment for me. It’s been a little bit of a rough couple of weeks. My grandpa passed away. He was the one that got me into throwing. This was my first meet without him. I wrote that note for him. It was special to throw one for him,” Crouser said to NBC.