Canadian record (shot)put up

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:40 AM ET

CALGARY - Dylan Armstrong had already won the Canadian shot put championship.

He’d also set a Canadian record.

But he was still motivated for his final throw — a gigantic heave that nearly had a group of spectators running for safety.

The 6-foot-4, 310-lb. behemoth wanted to hit the 22-ft. mark.

When the tape stretched to 22.21, he roared as the crowd erupted.

“I was happy,” Armstrong said. “I’ve been cranking a few out over that mark in training.

“It was overdue.”

The 30-year-old, who missed out on an Olympic medal in Beijing by one lousy centimetre, made time to pose for photos with fans after claiming his sixth national crown.

“I’m actually happy that I broke the Canadian record at the Canadian senior championships,” he said.

“I had a lot of people come up to me and say that it would probably be pretty memorable for them.

“It’s kind of cool to hear that.”

Armstrong’s mark shattered his own Canadian record (21.72), set earlier this year in San Diego.

“It was exciting,” he said.

“I think I kind of got up for today because I had a lot of family and friends out. That meant a lot today just to have them out and have their support and obviously all the fans. I was actually a little bit surprised. The only reason why is because I’ve been training through this meet and I changed my program three days prior to this.

“I’m a little bit sore.”

The same way a baseball slugger knows immediately if he ‘got all of it,’ Armstrong said he knew his final throw felt pretty good.

“You know just the way it comes off the finger,” he said. “You get in that real patient position and just strike it and everything feels good but, at the same time, effortless too.

“It came off good today. I know I’ve got more and I’ve just got to keep pushing towards Daegu.”

Daegu, South Korea, that is, where he’ll compete at the IAAF world championships (Aug. 27 to Sept. 4).

Saturday’s record is just a stepping stone to his ultimate goal of topping the podium in London in 2012.

“I’m hoping for even more,” he said. “It’s a process. I’ve just got to take one meet by one meet and just kind of keep going ...

“I don’t want to say I’m in my prime yet, hopefully. These next few years are crucial for me in my career. Obviously, this is a big year this year and a bigger one next year.”

Armstrong was able to discuss technique with his coach, Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk, between attempts.

“He was kind of running back and forth there,” Armstrong said. “He had the hammer and the shot going on at the same time.

“It’s always nice to have my coach. It’s just nice to have him see me throw that in competition because a lot of competitions my coach doesn’t get to see because they’re all in Europe and I don’t like him flying over there all the time. It’s a little bit too tough on him.”


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