Athletics: Adams comfortably sees off rivals in Rome win

Valerie Adams. Photo / AP.
Valerie Adams. Photo / AP.

Valerie Adams started as she means to go on in her opening event of the European season in Rome yesterday.

The defending world and Olympic champion heaved the shot 21.0m in the Diamond League meet, to comfortably see off China's Lijiao Gong (19.72m) and regular rival, Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus, who only managed 19.58m for third.

It was a meeting record and extended her world best performance for the year.

She began with throws of 19.61m, 19.85m and 20.04m before her fourth throw did the trick, just 21cm short of her personal best 21.24m from last year's worlds in Korea. Adams rounded her event off with a 20.86m. Five of her six throws would have won the competition. Adams next has the New York Diamond League meet on June 9.

It is a busy weekend for New Zealand athletes, both those going to the London Olympics and other striving to make it. Beijing Olympic 1500m silver medallist Nick Willis, is in the Bowerman Mile at the high-profile Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, later today, which is the fourth round of the Diamond League.

Willis has the 10th fastest time in the field, 3min 50.66s, with seven runners having gone under 3:50. He is aiming to eclipse John Walker's national record of 3:49.08.

Javelin thrower Stuart Farquhar, who has the best throw of this year with a personal best 86.31m, is up against world champion Matthias de Zordo of Germany tomorrow in Oregon. Five other finalists from last year's world champs are also in the field.

Bronze medallist from the Delhi Commonwealth Games, Andrea Miller, is making a late bid for an Olympic spot in Geneva late tomorrow night. Gold Coast-based Miller, who has been beset by injuries, holds the national 100m record of 13.10s, set when winning in Geneva three years ago. The Olympic qualifying time she needs is 12.96s. At the national championships in Waitakere in March, Miller ran 13.49s.

Marathon hope Kimberley Smith is running the San Diego Rock N Roll Half Marathon on Monday morning.David Leggat

- NZ Herald

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