CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -
Virginia volunteer assistant coach Adam Nelson has earned his third appearance on the Team USA roster for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, by taking third in the final round of the shot put at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., this weekend.
The two-time Olympic silver medalist came into the Olympic Trials after posting the world-leading throw of 22.12m this season on June 8 at the Prefontaine Classic. Nelson tossed 20.89m at the trials to finish third behind fellow U.S. men’s standouts Reese Hoffa and Christian Cantwell.
“You know someone’s going to throw big,” Nelson said. “You want to be the one to do it. Today it wasn’t me. When Reese and Christian and Dan (Taylor) started throwing well, I felt that weight on my back. I knew I just had to power through.
“Today was just a total derail. It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take not pretty and on the team over pretty and not on the team. We have a great team going to Beijing. Three of the best throwers ever are sitting here.”
The fifth round was the most decisive as Cantwell took the lead with a throw of 21.24m, only to have Hoffa snatch it from him with a mark of 21.94m. Nelson moved to third in the round with his throw of 20.89. Hoffa then threw the winning mark of 22.10m, just short of Nelson’s Olympic Trials record of 22.12m in 2000, in the final round, while Cantwell’s final effort of 21.71m placed him second. Nelson rounded out the top-three to advance to the Olympic Games and 2007 World Outdoor Championships team member Dan Taylor was just 3.5 inches away from Beijing.
Hoffa won the World Outdoor title in Osaka, Japan last year, and ended the season ranked No. 1 in the world. Nelson finished runner-up in Osaka and ended the season ranked No. 2 globally, while Cantwell won the U.S. Indoor title prior to earning a No. 3 world ranking at the season’s end. Nelson, Cantwell and Hoffa will continue their world domination as the men’s shot put dream team’ is set to compete in Beijing from Aug. 8 - 24.
For more information on Nelson’s accomplishments, visit Adam Nelson's bio page.