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Penn State Alumnus Joe Kovacs Wins Shot Put Gold At IAAF World Championships

Penn State was well represented on the podium this weekend at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, as Penn State alumnus Joe Kovacs claimed gold in the shot put final by launching a winning toss of 21.93 meters. Kovacs did so competing in the now-infamous Bird’s Nest — the very stadium that Usain Bolt set the 100m world record during the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Kovacs defeated German competitor David Storl by a length of 19 centimeters, earning the United States its first gold metal of the meet. Kovacs, a 2011 graduate from Penn State with a degree in energy business and finance, was an integral member of Penn State’s Track and Field team during his collegiate career. Among his career benchmarks is a Big Ten title during the 2011 Indoor Big Ten Championships, where Kovacs set a new personal record.

Kovacs understands the history of the Bird’s Nest, and feels honored to be able to accomplish such a feat at such an iconic venue.

“I remember watching Christian Cantwell and Reese Hoffa at those Olympics and, I can tell you, I would never have imagined that one day I would be competing on the same team as them and in the same stadium as those Olympics,” Kovacs said on the official IAAF website.

For continuous coverage of Team USA and the rest of the events, follow along with the remainder of the IAAF World Championships on the IAAF’s official website.

About the Author

David Abruzzese

David is a senior from Rochester, NY, nestled right in beautiful Western New York. He is majoring in Broadcast Journalism, and as an avid sports fan, he passionately supports the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. He is the first Penn Stater from his family, and couldn’t be prouder to represent Penn State University. In his free time, he likes to alpine ski, and play golf. You can follow him on Twitter @abruz11, and can contact him via email at [email protected]

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