Malone bumped up to sixth

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Aug 262004
 
Authors: Preston Cagle

While his 6-foot-8-inch frame torques around, 240 pounds rapidly

twist over two powerful legs. His body gains speed and then the

disc gracefully and powerfully slides away from his hand and sails

toward its destination at 64.33 meters or 211 feet. Although this

throw does not gain him an Olympic medal, it is a moment he will

never forget, a moment that was years in the making.

Casey Malone is a discus thrower from Wheatridge, Colo. He

graduated from Arvada West High School and went on to throw at CSU.

Malone graduated from CSU in 2000, and during his career he won an

NCAA championship in the event. During his time at CSU he earned

the name “Gentle Giant” from his coaches.

“I definitely agree with (the nickname),” Malone said. “I’m

laid-back and even-tempered.”

He has titles on the NCAA, U.S. Junior and World Junior levels.

He was a redshirt in 1999, because he was training to trying to

make the U.S. Olympic team. The same year, he also qualified for

the 2000 Olympic trials where he finished ninth.

Malone took his performance one step further from there. In 2002

he made the U.S. team for the 2003 World Outdoor Championships by

having met the IAAF “A” standard of 64.40 meters/211-foot-13-inches

with a 66.58 meter/218-foot-5-inches throw. He then made his way to

the 2004 Olympic Trials for his third attempt to make the U.S.

Olympic team. He tossed the discus 64.47m/211-foot-6-inches to

finish third and grab a spot on the team.

“I now feel like I belong among the top throwers in the world,”

Malone said after making the ’03 World Championship team. “Whereas

before I felt lucky to be there.”

Malone traveled to Athens, Greece this past week to compete in

the 2004 Olympics. He managed to grab the top spot in qualifying,

but ended up sixth in the finals after some controversy. Malone

originally finished seventh in the competition, but winner Robert

Fazekas of Hungary failed to show up for his post-event drug test,

and was disqualified. This moved Malone into sixth place overall in

Olympic competition.

NBC Olympics reports that, “Though he’s now 27, Malone is hoping

that he’s just getting into his ‘Golden Years’ of throwing.”

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