Gold: Michelle Carter (United States)
Silver: Valerie Adams (New Zealand)
Bronze: Anita Marton (Hungary)
Michelle Carter saved her best for last, claiming the gold medal and breaking the American record on her final throw.
New Zealand’s Valerie Adams seemed poised to become the first woman to win three consecutive Olympic shot put gold medals before Carter's final attempt. Adams' best throw, 20.42m (67 feet), had her in first place by .55m (1 foot, 9 3/4 inches). Then Carter stepped into the circle and threw 20.63m (67-8.25) to earn the title.
"It's tough, but it's sport," Adams said to the Associated Press. "Sometimes you take one on the chin."
Carter, a certified professional makeup artist who is nicknamed the “Shot Diva,” is the first U.S. Olympic women's shot put gold medalist. She became the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in the event since 1960, when Earlene Brown claimed bronze.
Carter’s father, Michael was the 1984 Olympic shot put silver medalist. He also won three Super Bowl rings as a football player with the San Francisco 49ers.
Adams’ brother, Steven Adams, is a seven-foot center for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Valerie, who is 6-foot-4, still refers to him as “lil bro.”
Hungary’s Anita Marton was the bronze medalist. China’s Lijiao Gong, who entered the competition with the year’s top throw, finished fourth.
American Raven Saunders finished fifth. Saunders, 20, is a three-time NCAA champion.
The men’s shot put competition will begin on August 18. Poland’s Tomasz Majewski is the two-time defending Olympic champion.