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Armstrong and Rodhe secure London berths with gold and silver in shot put

Dylan Armstrong throws to a first place finish in the men's shot put final at the Canadian Track and Field Olympic Trials in Calgary, Alberta, June 30, 2012.

TODD KOROL/REUTERS

Dylan Armstrong did what he had to do Saturday: he threw, he won, he stamped his ticket to London.

While Armstrong's showing at the 2012 Canadian track and field Olympic trials was free of drama, it was bound by necessity. Having already reached the Olympic standard, all Armstrong had to do was finish in the top three at Foothills Athletic Park.

He accomplished that on his second throw of the afternoon, launching a shot put 21.29 metres, the longest toss of the day. Justin Rodhe also earned his spot on the 2012 Olympic team by placing second. Born in Bainbridge, Ohio, Rodhe has received his Canadian citizenship and can compete for Canada. He threw for 20.30 metres Saturday.

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Tim Nedow finished third here but did not achieve the Olympic standard.

"Today was about having fun, giving the people here a chance to see what we do," said Armstrong, who set the Canadian record of 22.21 metres at Foothills Park last summer. "We had three guys go over 20 metres here. That's very impressive."

Armstrong represents Canada's best chance for an Olympic medal in athletics. To accomplish that, the 31-year-old Kamloops native knows he'll have to "go over 22 metres. I can definitely do that. I've got three weeks to go after it and do some really good throwing."

A week earlier, at the Donovan Bailey Invitational in Edmonton, Armstrong won with a throw of 21.02. He believes some fine tuning and technical adjustments can make the difference in a competitive men's field where everyone in the top eight is capable of winning gold.

Asked why no one in the world has yet to break the 22-metre barrier this season, Armstrong replied it was due to a number of reasons.

"It's an Olympic year, people are holding back a little bit more. It could be a number of injuries," he said. "I injured my elbow and I'm slowly getting here now."

Armstrong leaves for Paris on July 5 then spend time training in south Portugal until arriving in London.

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About the Author
Sports writer

Allan Maki is a national news reporter and sports writer based in Calgary. He joined the Globe and Mail in 1997 with an extensive sports background having covered Stanley Cup finals, the Grey Cup, Summer and Winter Olympics, the 1980 Miracle on Ice, the 1989 Super Bowl riot and the 1989 earthquake World Series. More

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