Back in January 2016, Stephen Mozia (Cornell ’15) threw what was then the best shot put performance in the world (21.11 meters or 69-03 1/4). That was his Olympic qualification mark and the sixth best mark during the indoor season.
Well, he is now set to enter the Summer Olympic Games as the #3 seed in the shot put.
Today at a small meet in the Czech Republic, Mozia threw a monster of a throw that was a new all-time best – 21.76 meters or 71 feet 5 inches (his previous outdoor best was 20.82 meters or 68-03 3/4 that he threw in Spain last weekend – that ranked him #18 in the world).
While it is not an all-time Ivy best – that mark is held by Adam Nelson (Dartmouth ’97) with 73-10 1/4 – the mark makes him the third best thrower in the world this season. It is also a new Nigerian national record (he held the previous record with that 20.82m mark), the second best mark in African history, and the fourth best mark ever on Czech soil according to Mozia’s instagram account.
Oh, and he got a pretty big trophy for winning the event.
The only athletes who are ranked ahead of Mozia right now are USA’s Joe Kovacs (22.13 meters or 72-07 1/4) and Ryan Crouser (22.11 meters or 72-06 1/2).
Mozia’s odds in medaling in Rio have increased substantially with this performance. Hopefully, he can replicate it in a few weeks.
photo from Stephen Mozia