Former Track And Field Standout Joe Kovacs Takes Silver In Rio

2011 Penn State graduate and track and field standout Joe Kovacs added to Penn State’s medal count at the Rio Olympics with his impressive performance on the big stage.

Kovacs, who won gold at the IAAF World Championships in August 2015, took silver in the men’s shot put competition with a throw of 21.78 meters. Fellow American Ryan Crouser narrowly edged Kovacs out by less than a meter to take gold, breaking a long-standing Olympic record in the process. His throw of 22.52 broke East German shot put legend Ulf Timmermann’s mark of 22.47 that was set in 1988. Fellow Penn State graduate Darrell Hill competed alongside Kovacs in the competition, but did not qualify for the final round.

Kovacs enjoyed a wildly successful 2015-16 season that saw him finish the year as the No. 1 shot putter in the world, but such great prosperity comes with lofty expectations. Though he medaled for his country, the ever-competitive Kovacs expressed a sense of disappointment in failing to earn gold — a feeling that quickly dissipated as he remembered the significance of being able to compete in the Olympic games, let alone have a spot on the medal stand.

“You’re never happy to get second,” Kovacs said in a post-competition interview. “It’s that bittersweet feeling. But it’s setting in. I’m still bringing home a silver medal to the U.S. and the gold’s coming with Ryan. Ryan had some great throws today, and I have to congratulate him on that because he put it together.”

The former All-American became the third Penn Stater to medal in Rio. Though it wasn’t the medal of his choice, Kovacs can add his first Olympic medal to his expanding trophy case.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

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].

News & Notes From James Franklin’s Lift For Life Media Availability

From discussing the White Out to the wide receiver corps, here’s what we learned from Franklin’s latest press conference.

Penn State Names Corey Phelps Dean Of Smeal College Of Business

Phelps came from leading Oklahoma’s Michael F. Price College of Business.

Report: Penn State Hoops To Host Penn On December 29

The matchup is one of several reported or announced games for the Nittany Lions in the 2024-25 season.

Other posts by David

So Long, And Goodnight: David Abruzzese’s Senior Column

It’s been a hell of a ride, folks. Senior staffer David Abruzzese rides off into the sunset with his senior column.

Saquon Barkley Mum On NFL Future; Relishes Fiesta Bowl Opportunity

DOTD: Nittany Lion Catches Pass At Fiesta Bowl