Joe Kovacs Takes Silver In IAAF Worlds Shot Put

Joe Kovacs, a 2007 graduate of Bethlehem Catholic and former Penn State standout, earned a silver medal in the men's shot put at IAAF World Championships in London.

It didn't come without some controversy, though.

Kovacs had a strong third round throw of 21.66 meters, but it was Tom Walsh of New Zealand who held the lead after three rounds with a toss of 21.75 meters.

Then Kovacs unleashed a monster heave on his sixth and final attempt that went 22.08 meters, far enough to give Kovacs the lead. The only problem was that the official called a foul on Kovacs, stating he stepped out of the throwing circle. An emotional Kovacs vowed to the television cameras that he would protest the call, which he did.

It was to no avail, however, and the results stood. Walsh held the lead going into his final throw, which ended up being his best of 22.03 meters.

After some speculation on air that it was Kovacs' front foot that stepped on top of the board, it appears the back judge called the foul on Kovacs, saying his left foot stepped out of the circle, according to a tweet from the National Throws Coaches' Association:

Still, the 2015 world champion was gracious on Twitter afterwards: "Thank you for all the support," Kovacs wrote. "Proud to go down swinging with a winning distance on the last throw. A foul is a foul. Congrats (Tom Walsh)"

Kovacs was the 2007 PIAA state champion in Class AA in the shot put and discus. He went on to have a successful career at Penn State University. He won the IAAF world title in the shot put at in 2015 in Beijing. Last summer at the Rio Olympics, Kovacs took home the silver medal.

Two other Pennsylvania alums were in the men's shot put field, making up a strong PA contingent in London. Ryan Whiting, a 2005 Central Dauphin grad, and Darrell Hill, a 2011 Penn Wood grad, each qualified for Sunday's shot put final. Whiting placed seventh with a throw of 21.09, while Hill was 11th with a best toss of 20.79. The reigning Olympic champion, Ryan Crouser of the USA, was sixth with a throw of 21.20.

Check out the final results below: