The Penn State alumnus fell just short of taking gold on his sixth and final throw from New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh. Kovacs was controversially called for a foul on that last throw that went 5cm farther than Walsh’s best of 22.03 meters (72.3 feet).
— Throws Chat (@ThrowsChat) August 6, 2017
The judge ruled that Kovacs’ foot clipped the toeboard, which negates the throw. Visibly frustrated with the call, Kovacs gestured at the official and stormed off.
Kovacs protested the call, but after review, IAAF officials upheld the decision.
“A foul is a foul,” Kovacs tweeted after the result became official.
Thank you for all the support! Proud to go down swinging with a winning distance on the last throw. A foul is a foul. Congrats @TomWalshSP!
— Joe Kovacs (@JoeKovacsUSA) August 6, 2017
Kovacs’ silver made him the first American shot putter to medal in three consecutive major international competitions since Christian Cantwell did so in 2011.
2015 Penn State graduate Darrell Hill also competed in the shot put final on Sunday, finishing 11th with a throw of 20.79 meters (68.2 feet).
Both Penn State rising junior Isaiah Harris and Penn State coach Eddie Lovett wrapped up their events at the World Championships on Sunday as well.
Harris, who finished second in the 800m at the NCAA Championships in June, advanced to the semifinals in the event at the World Championships.
Lovett, who represents the U.S. Virgin Islands in competition, made it to the semifinals in the 110m hurdles.
Penn State rising junior Keianna Albury is the last Nittany Lion left to compete at the World Championships. She’ll be on the Bahamas 4x100m relay team for the event Friday.