On Friday Dylan Armstrong helped make the 2013 IAAF World Championships one for the record books for the Canadian team by winning bronze in the men’s shot put. It was the fourth medal for Canada in the first seven days of competition, matching the country’s best-ever performance at the IAAF World Championships from 1995 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Armstrong captured the bronze medal with a season’s best throw of 21.34m in his fifth of six attempts. Prior to that throw he had been sitting in fourth place. It is the second straight Worlds at which Armstrong has been on the podium, having won silver in 2011 in Daegu.
“I’m really happy with my performance tonight,” said Armstrong. “I really came out here putting my eggs all in one basket this year. It just goes to show if you work hard, big things can happen.”
With all of his focus on the world championships, it has been an up-and-down season for the Canadian record holder, who lost his national title in June but was named the National Track League’s top male athlete.
“I just gotta thank my coach Dr. (Anatoliy) Bondarchuk. He can peak me when it counts,” Armstrong said of the Ukrainian throwing guru and two-time Olympic medallist with whom he has worked since the mid-2000s.
Armstrong finished behind German David Storl, who successfully defended the title he won in 2011, and American Ryan Whiting, the 2012 World Indoor champion. Armstrong’s podium finish follows those of Damian Warner (decathlon bronze), Brianne Theisen-Eaton (heptathlon silver) and Derek Drouin (high jump bronze).
“I’m 32 years old. I’m just happy to have that extra medal in my career,” Armstrong said.
There is likely one more major medal to come Armstrong’s way. He is in line to receive the bronze medal from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, one he originally missed by just one centimetre. Belarus’ Andrei Mikhnevich, the original Beijing bronze medallist, was handed a lifetime ban in June of this year following a re-test of his sample from the 2005 World Championships. His retroactive disqualification by the IAAF has already benefited Armstrong, who was upgraded to bronze from his original fourth place finish at the 2010 World Indoor Championships. The IOC has yet to make a change to the Beijing results.