LONDON - University of Missouri graduate Christian Cantwell has advanced in his shot for another Olympic medal by finishing in the top 12 in the qualifying round of shot put competition in London early Friday.
Cantwell, about to enter his seventh year as a volunteer assistant on the Mizzou track & field staff, earned a silver medal in Beijing in 2008, the first medal for a former or current Tiger since 1992.
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With a throw of 20.41 meters, Cantwell finished ninth out of 39 other shot putters Friday morning. Each competitor got three throws in the qualifying round.
The competitors were trying to achieve a predetermined distance set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Technical Delegates.
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Only five reached the mark, including American teammates Reese Hoffa and Ryan Whiting, so the top 12 move on to Friday afternoon's finals.
The finals, which will take place at about 2:30 p.m. CT, consist of two more rounds, with each competitor getting three more throws in the first round. The eight athletes with the longest distances will advance to the last round and get three more throws.
The athlete with the longest throw in that last round will bring home the gold medal.
Cantwell, who is listed at 6 feet and 300 pounds, has a personal best throw of 22.54 meters, better than any other competitor in the field. Only four of the other shot putters have even ever hit a mark of 22 meters, including Hoffa and Whiting, the other Americans in the field.
In 2010, Cantwell became the first man ever to win three shot put titles at the World Indoor Championships.
You can watch coverage of track & field qualifying rounds on your 41 Action News station from 9 to 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 to 11 a.m. More from the opening day of track & field can be seen during primetime coverage from 7 to 11 p.m.
More Olympic TV listings can be found at: http://bit.ly/OFt9Jw