Joe Kovacs takes next step in Tokyo Olympics shot put

U.S. Olympic track and field trials

Joe Kovacs celebrates during the prelims of men's shot put at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Friday, June 18, 2021, in Eugene, Ore.AP

Joe Kovacs has kept his dream of Olympic shot put gold alive.

The Bethlehem Catholic and Penn State graduate, a native of Nazareth, advanced from Tuesday morning’s preliminary round to the final at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Kovacs, who won the silver medal in Rio de Janeiro at the 2016 games, qualified for the 12-man final with a throw of 20.93 meters (68 feet, 8 inches).

Kovacs’ qualifying throw ranked 11th of the 12 finalists.

The top effort in qualifying came from his U.S. teammate and current world-record Ryan Crouser, who threw 22.03 meters (72-3½).

The final will go off on Wednesday at 10:05 p.m. Eastern time, which is Thursday at 11:05 a.m. Tokyo time.

The other qualifiers for the final are Mesud Pezer of Bosnia and Hercegovina, Zane Weir of Italy, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi of Nigeria, Kyle Blingnaut of South Africa, Jacko Gill and Tomas Walsh of New Zealand, Darlan Romani of Brazil, Mostafa Hassan of Egypt, Armin Sinancevic of Serbia and Peyton Otterdahl of the United States.

Thank you for relying on us to provide the journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting lehighvalleylive.com with a voluntary subscription.

Brad Wilson may be reached at bwilson@lehighvalleylive.com.