Godina, Nelson, Cantwell look to continue U.S. shot put World Champs success in Helsinki


Tom Surber
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field
317-261-0478 x317

INDIANAPOLIS - Recognized as three of the finest shot putters in the world, look for John Godina, Adam Nelson and Christian Cantwell to add to a rich U.S. history in that event at the 2005 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships this summer in Helsinki.

All told, Godina accounts for three of the four gold medals won by American men in the shot put at the World Championships, while Nelson has two of the three silver medals. Team USA also has three bronzes.

Two-time Olympic medalist John Godina won America's first gold medal in World Outdoor Championship competition at the 1995 Worlds in Gothenburg with a throw of 21.47m/70-5.25. His winning toss came on his first attempt and he was never seriously challenged.

Godina added a second gold medal two years later in Athens after placing a disappointing fourth at the USA Outdoor Championships. He was granted entry into the event when the IAAF decided to invite 1995 champions to the meet regardless of team selection procedures. Godina originally finished second in Athens, but was awarded the gold medal when the Ukraine's Aleksandr Bagach was disqualified following a drug test.

After performing moderately in the qualifying round, John Godina and Adam Nelson rose to the occasion in the final in grabbing the gold and silver medals at the 2001 Championships in Edmonton. Godina won his third world title with a best throw of 21.87m/71-9, with Nelson capturing the silver medal with a toss of 21.24m/69-8.25. Following the competition Godina told the IAAF that he would celebrate by doing some laundry.

The 2000 and 2004 Olympic silver medalist, Nelson added a second World Champs silver medal in 2003 in Paris with his throw of 21.64m/71-0.

What about Helsinki?

Seasoned veterans Godina and Nelson will team up with 2005 U.S. Outdoor champ Christian Cantwell to form a triumvirate that - provided they all are healthy - are eying three medals in Helsinki.

The three-headed monster of Godina, Nelson and Cantwell own the top eight throws in the world this year, with Godina providing four of those top eight tosses, and Nelson and Cantwell posting two throws each.

Godina has arguably been having the best season of his Hall of Fame caliber career, highlighted by a personal best world-leading throw of 22.20m/72-10 in winning the adidas Track Classic on May 22 in Carson, Calif. Godina also hoisted the second best throw globally this season with his 21.93m/71-11.50 winning toss May 30 at the Payton Jordan U.S. Open in Palo Alto, Calif. An injury to his right ankle and foot suffered at the Reebok Grand Prix on June 11 curtailed his performance at the USA Outdoor Championships, but he hopes to be healthy for Helsinki.

After getting off to a slow start this season, last year's #1 ranked shot putter in the world Christian Cantwell found his stride on June 4 in Seville, Spain, by posting the third-best throw in the world this year of 21.67m/71-1.25. Three weeks later Cantwell won his first U.S. Outdoor title with a toss of 21.64m/71-0 (#4 on world list) last week in Carson, Calif.

Two-time Olympic silver medalist Adam Nelson also is rounding into form at the most opportune time, thanks to recovering from a foot injury suffered during the indoor season. The 2003 world outdoor silver medalist in Paris, Nelson posted the fifth-best mark in the world (21.58m/70-9.75) this year with his win June 11 at the Reebok Classic in New York City. He later finished as the runner-up at the USA Outdoor Championships with a best effort of 21.52m/70-7.25 June 26 in Carson.