Adrian Piperi’s aim in Tampere will be to add another global championships gold medal to his collection.
The US shot putter won gold at the IAAF World U18 Championships Cali 2015. Just three other men – Bulgaria’s Georgi Ivanov, Germany’s David Storl and New Zealand’s Jacko Gill – have won world U18 and U20 titles in the shot put. Piperi will be looking to become the fourth.
Now in his first year at the University of Texas, most of Piperi’s competitions in 2018 have been with the 7.26kg senior weight implement. He set a PB of 20.41m at the end of May and equalled that mark to finish fourth at the NCAA Championships two weeks later. Only five other U20 athletes in history have thrown farther with the senior weight shot put.
At the US Junior Championships, Piperi’s sole competition this year with the 6kg U20 implement, he threw 21.50m. That mark puts him second on the 2018 world list, but his performances with the heavier implement suggest he is capable of improving on that.
South Africa’s Kyle Blignaut leads the 2018 world list with 21.65m. The African U20 champion hasn’t competed since setting that PB at the end of April, but if he is anywhere near his best, he will be a contender for the title.
Like Piperi, USA’s Jordan West has predominantly competed on the collegiate circuit this year with the senior implement. With PBs of 21.16m for the 6kg shot and 19.79m for the senior shot, he has the potential to make it on to the podium.
European U20 bronze medallist Odisseas Mouzenadis of Greece, Dzimitry Karpuk of Belarus and Valentin Moll of Germany should also feature in the hunt for medals.
Finland’s Eero Ahola also appears to be rounding into form at the right time and could be one of the host nation’s top performers. In his two most recent competitions, he has produced the two best marks of his career: 19.85m and 19.47m.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF