The United States has its first Olympic gold medal in track and field, thanks to Michelle Carter.
Carter won the shot put competition with a throw of 20.63 meters on her final attempt, surpassing New Zealand’s Valerie Adams (20.42 meters, a season best for her). While Adams’ longest attempt came on her second putting of the shot, Carter couldn’t get over the 20 meter hump until her final attempt. And that proved to be good enough to earn her first Olympic gold medal.
Carter also competed in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, finishing 15th in the shot put in Beijing and fifth in London. Not only did Carter dethrone the two-time Olympic champion in Adams, but she also broke the American record of 20.24 meters that she set in 2013. Carter is the second American woman to medal in the shot put in Olympic history, with Earlene Brown taking bronze in 1960.
Carter is the second member of her family to win an Olympic medal. Father Michael, who also won three Super Bowl rings as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, took silver in the shot put at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. In the NFL season that followed the 49ers would beat the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX, making Carter the only athlete to win an Olympic medal and a Super Bowl in the same season.
Taking bronze was Hungary’s Anita Marton, whose longest throw of 19.87 meters established a new national record. American Raven Saunders finished fifth at 19.35 meters, with that mark being registered on her final attempt and a personal record as well.