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Charleston's Raven Saunders makes U.S. Olympic team again with record shot put

Raven Saunders, U.S. Olympic Team, Shot Put. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Charleston native Raven Saunders, who competed in an Incredible Hulk mask, had a personal best throw of 19.96 meters (65 feet, 6 inches) in the shot put Friday in the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials to earn a spot on Team USA in the Tokyo Olympic. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Charleston native Raven Saunders finished second in the shot put after a record-breaking performance Friday at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic trials, earning a prestigious spot on Team USA in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Saunders, who competed in an Incredible Hulk mask, had a personal best throw of 19.96 meters (65 feet, 6 inches) to make the team. This marks the second time Saunders has qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team.

Saunders' throw set a new meet record for the U.S. Olympic Trials, until Jessica Ramsey responded with a throw of 20.12 meters (66 feet, 1/4 inch) to win the event and set a new record.

Ramsey's shot put moved her into fourth all-time among U.S. athletes and No. 2 in the world so far this year. Saunders' throw on Friday ranks fifth all-time by an American and is the third-best shot put by anyone in the world so far in 2021, according to Team USA.

“Honestly, if I could have lost to anybody, I’m happy it was Jessica,” Saunders told media after the event. She and Ramsey are former training partners.

“I’m happy for her, happy for myself. We were pumping each other up. It was great to make that magic again,” Saunders added.

Ramsey and Saunders will be joined on the Olympic team by Ohio State’s Adelaide Aquilla (62 feet, 2-1/4 inches). Aquilla won the NCAA title in the shot put this year.

(The Associated Press contributed information to this report.)