FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bob Sanner, (w) 785-856-5302 (m) 785-764-2660
Sports, eXplore Lawrence
March 10, 2016
Downtown Lawrence Men's Olympic Shot Put
six of the World's top 10 throwers
Lawrence, KS: Bringing Olympic competition literally to the streets of Lawrence is all part of the fun for the Downtown Lawrence Men's Olympic Shot Put, and the Olympians enjoy it as much as the fans. For the fifth consecutive year, eXplore Lawrence, partnering with Kansas Athletics and the City of Lawrence, welcomes some of the World's top competitors to the free event Friday, April 22, at 6 p.m. (CST) on Eighth Street between Massachusetts and New Hampshire Streets.
Six of the top 10-ranked throwers in the World will be part of this event, making the 2016 shot put the strongest field ever. Jamaican O'Dayne Richards (3), Reese Hoffa (5), Jordan Clarke (6), Ryan Whiting (7), Christian Cantwell (8) and Canadian Tim Nedow (9) will be in Lawrence for what has become the athletes' favorite U.S. event. The competition will be held in conjunction with the 89th Kansas Relays.
Reese Hoffa, number 5-ranked thrower in the World, has participated in every Downtown Lawrence Men's Olympic Shot Put competition since it began in 2011. "It's more like a festival," Hoffa said. "The crowd is right there cheering us on. That's what makes it great. It's not like throwing in a field somewhere. They have an opportunity to get close to Olympic-caliber athletes and it gives us a chance to connect with them." He added that after the competition, "when we're walking around downtown, people who were there will come up to you and thank you for taking the time to talk to their son or for signing an autograph. It lets you build a relationship."
To create the unique setting for the event, officials will construct a throwing area and platform as well as a spectator viewing area on Eighth Street between Massachusetts and New Hampshire Streets. The City of Lawrence's Street Department will use 750 tons of screened limestone, donated by Hamm Quarry Inc., to build the shot put sector. A 6,700-pound concrete throws circle is provided by Meadowbrook Apartments of Lawrence. Following the event, the City of Lawrence will reuse the donated limestone material to maintain running and biking trails along the Kansas River levee.
Downtown Olympic Shot Put is free to the public, along with the live street concert that follows. The fun includes the chance to win prizes, and young fans can enjoy inflatable play areas, along with face painting. Free live music by The Brody Buster Band, a rock & roll blues show, begins on Eighth Street after the shot put competition. Food and beverages will be available for purchase during the event.Showcasing the events that make Lawrence unmistakable, eXplore Lawrence, the convention and visitors bureau, is pleased to organize this event in conjunction with the 89th Kansas Relays, April 20 - 23 at Rock Chalk Park. For more information, visit kansasrelays.com. For more information and to view photos of the athletes, visit explorelawrence.com/shotput ELs49n�<��o