Saunders is the first American medalist in the shot since 2004.
July 25, 2014
By Tyler Wooten
EUGENE, Ore. -- On her final attempt, SIU signee Raven Saunders leapt from third place to second to snare the silver medal in the shot put at the IAAF World Junior Championships at Hayward Field on Friday night.
After five throws in finals, Saunders ranked third at 16.36 meters -- just 14 centimeters off of second place. On her sixth and final attempt, Saunders uncorked one for 16.63m, her second-best of the day, to slide into second and claim the silver medal.
She is now only the second American female in 10 years to medal in the shot put at the world junior meet. The last American woman to do so was two-time Olympian and American record holder Michelle Carter, who won the gold in 2004.
Saunders, the all-time American girls high school record holder, entered competition ranked third in the world at 17.28m behind eventual gold-medal winner Tianqian Guo of China and eventual bronze-medal winner Emel Dereli of Turkey. The Burke High School product led all competition after the preliminary round this morning at 16.73m, the best throw for an American female since Carter won the gold medal on a heave of 17.55m in 2004.