Patrick McKendry

Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Athletics: Adams and Lamb win in Sydney

New Zealand's Valerie Adams. Photo / Brett Phibbs
New Zealand's Valerie Adams. Photo / Brett Phibbs

New Zealanders Valerie Adams and Liz Lamb came up with winning performances at the Sydney Track Classic late last night.

In a night featuring world and Olympic champions, shot putter Adams was untroubled, while high jumper Lamb had to fight for the win.

Adams won with ease and had a best of 20.67 metres, a big improvement on her 20.35 metres and 20.19 metres at the International Track Meet and Porritt Classic in recent weeks. The throw represents Adams' seventh best distance of her career, setting up a classic contest at the World Indoor championships in Istanbul in three weeks with arch rival Nadezhda Ostapchuk who threw 20.70 metres indoors in Belarus last weekend. The Sydney meeting is Adams' last competition before the World Indoors.

Lamb continued her good form in the high jump, winning the competition on countback from Australian Ashleigh Reid, both athletes clearing 1.85 metres. Lamb's clearance of 1.90 metres last week in Hamilton represented a big breakthrough for the Auckland jumper and she will be looking to build on the good form for the rest of the season.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Andrea Miller finished third in the 100 metres hurdles, beaten by world and Commonwealth champion Sally Pearson from Australia and Nia Ali from USA. Miller's time of 13.46 seconds was a season's best behind Pearson's 12.66s meet record. Veronica Torr placed 5th in 14.10 seconds, just ahead of Sarah Cowley in seventh with 14.14s.

Another third place went to Otago's Marshall Hall in the men's discus after he threw 51.51 metres behind winner Russ Winger from USA (62.98m).

Angie Smith ran her best race of the season with a fifth place in the 800 metres in 2m 4.77s, her second best ever and fastest this season.

James Mortimer also had his best run of the season, placing fourth in the 400 metres hurdles with a time of 50.96 seconds, bouncing back from a defeat last week in Hamilton. The time is his best this summer and his third best ever. American Justin Gaymon won in 49.77s just head of Australian Brendon Cole.

Hannah Newbould and Lydia O'Donnell had solid runs in the 1500 metres, placing eighth and ninth in 4m 23.35s and 4m 25.08s.

Hamish Carson finished 11th in the 1500 metres in 3m 43.41s after featuring early in the race, but fading over the last 500 metres. The race was won by American David Torrance in 3m 35.66 and Collis Birmingham from Australia.

- APNZ

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