On March 31, in what was also the 1000th athletics final in Olympic history, Daniel Stahl resumed his dominance of the men’s discus with a comfortable victory at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium to win the first field event title at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
In the Second Round, the 28-Year-old Swede took the lead with a throw of 68.90 metres, the Fourth-Furthest in Olympic History.
An early threat came from Austria’s Lukas Weisshaidinger, who threw 67.07m in the third round, but his toughest challenge came from training partner Simon Pettersson, who threw 67.39m in the fifth round, giving Sweden its first-ever gold and silver medals in the event.
Stahl, who has won the competition every year since 2016, reflected on his journey to the top, saying, “There was a lot of hard work and fun on the way.” For that, “I feel tremendous pride.”
Stahl didn’t make the final in Rio five years ago, but he’s steadily gotten better since then, winning silver at the world championships in 2017 and the European championship in 2018, and now the world championship in 2019.
When he Competed in 2020, Stahl only lost Twice in 19 events, and he has only lost once in 13 events so far this Year.
Stahl commented, “My training partner Simon has been working hard.” I’m also pleased with our coach Vesteinn Hafsteinsson for having faith in us.
Matt Denny of Australia led after the first round with a 65.76-meter throw, but he was overtaken by Weisshaidinger’s 66.65-meter effort to start the second round. But Stahl quickly took the lead back with his winning toss, and the tournament quickly devolved into a struggle for consolation prizes.
Weisshaidinger never wavered in his performance, increasing his distance to 67.07m in the third round and throwing nearly as far (66.86m) in the fourth.
Pre-Games favourite Kristjan Ceh of Slovenia struggled early, fouling on his first try, reaching just 62.95m with his second, then foot fouling his third after a subpar throw, however he survived to sit in eighth place after the first three rounds.
When he came back to the circle for his first throw of the fourth round, he appeared relaxed before unleashing a 66.05m effort that put him in fourth place.
He kept getting better and better, and eventually threw 66.62 metres, surpassing Pettersson for third place by a scant 4.
A 22-Year-hopes old’s of Finishing in the top Three were Quickly Dashed.
Pettersson recovered magnificently, firing a 67.39m throw to go into second, giving Sweden a stranglehold on places one and two.
In the last round, Denny improved his lifetime best to 67.02m, putting him in fourth place, barely five centimetres behind him and Weisshaidinger. The following competitor, Ceh, failed to match that distance and finished fifth at his first Olympic Games with a throw of 66.37 metres.
To top it all off, Weisshaidinger became the first male Austrian to win an Olympic medal in any sporting event by winning bronze.
Weissheidinger, draped in his country’s flag, kneeled next to the throwing circle and kissed the ring after Stahl and Pettersson finished a 50-meter backstraight triumph dash.
2017’s World Champion, Andrius Gudzius, came in at 64.11m, good for sixth place.
After qualifying as Colombia’s first Olympic finalist in the event, Mauricio Ortega placed seventh with a distance of 64.08 metres.
Daniel Jasinski of Germany, who won bronze in 2016, placed tenth with a throw of 62.44 metres.