Sports News

Explosive Cantwell grabs thrilling shot gold

BERLIN (Reuters) - American Christian Cantwell exacted revenge for the loss of the Olympic gold medal to Tomasz Majewski when he overhauled the Pole on his fifth attempt to clinch the shot put world title on Saturday.

Christian Cantwell of the U.S. and Ralf Bartels of Germany (R) hold their national flags as they celebrate after the men's shot put final during the world athletics championships at the Olympic stadium in Berlin August 15, 2009. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

In an exciting competition, Cantwell grabbed victory with an effort of 22.03 meters, the best in the world this year and 12 centimeters longer than Majewski’s best throw.

German fans also had reason to celebrate on the first day of the championships when Ralf Bartels won bronze with a personal best of 21.37.

Cantwell’s victory made it seven wins from the last eight world championships for the United States.

“I knew I had a chance and I knew I could throw a little bit better,” Cantwell told reporters. “I thought myself to slow down and relax (in the fifth round).”

He did, however, admit the Beijing second place was still on his mind.

“(This medal) will never wipe away that memory,” Cantwell said.

The 28-year-old, who had to settle for silver in Beijing last year after a surprise performance by Majewski, was explosive in his first attempt, throwing 21.54.

Wearing his trademark bandana, the bearded Majewski, who had dropped a shot on the American’s foot during a meeting in London, rose to the challenge and must have thought he had won it when his fourth throw landed at 21.68.

The 27-year-old surged further ahead with a stunning 21.91 on his next effort.

But Cantwell, twice world indoor champion, was not finished, breaking the 22-meter barrier with his fifth attempt.

“I am disappointed. Christian’s got it. That’s it,” said Majewski.

Editing by Ed Osmond