David Leggat on sport

David Leggat is a Herald sport writer

David Leggat: Silver is no disgrace - now it's time to move on

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Valerie Adams. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Valerie Adams. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A person of my acquaintance, when faced with an awkward situation, is inclined to get past it by cheerily saying "moving on".

That is what Valerie Adams needs to do in the wake of her second placing in the shot put at the Olympic Stadium yesterday.

In her mind there was no silver lining to this result. Just sheer despair at coming up short.

The tears rolling down her cheeks minutes after the squat Belarusian Nadzeya Ostapchuk had comprehensively out-thrown her spoke eloquently of her inner feelings.

Now it's Rio in 2016. Adams remarked a short time after it was over: "I might just go to Rio just to piss people off."

Quite who she planned to "piss off" wasn't made clear. It was a curious remark.

Certainly her lead-up to the final was unsettled. She'd been badly let down by an athletics official who had messed up her entry. No question that didn't help.

If it did throw her completely out of kilter it hints at a hitherto-unseen flaw in her mental makeup. Only Adams knows that.

However, the key point to be remembered is that Adams was not even close to her only serious rival in the discipline. Ostapchuk's best in a fine series of throws was 21.36 metres.

Adams personal best is 21.24m, but on a chilly evening - which Adams stressed was not a factor in her poor return - she was well short, had three no throws out of six attempts, and 20.70m was nowhere near the four of Ostapchuk's efforts.

Dark rumours swirled around Ostapchuk after a series of big heaves in her homeland recently. So long as there is no positive doping result, the performances have to be taken at face value.

Adams' coach Jean-Pierre Egger also offered an ungracious observation after the event.

He chose to give a "prefer to keep silent" comment on Ostapchuk's performance. That is a poor reaction, his silence intended to shout loudly at something fishy.

There's no disgrace in silver. Far from it. But Adams' heart was set firmly on back-to-back golds. A tough night. Now it's time to move on.

- NZ Herald

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