Chris Rattue

Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Sporting Achievement of the Year 2013: Valerie Adams

Valerie Adams. Brett Phibbs
Valerie Adams. Brett Phibbs

It was business as usual for Valerie Adams, another way of saying the shot put superstar pummelled all-comers.

There's a danger that Adams' Victory March Fatigue is obscuring the weight of her achievements outside the Olympic triumphs. It was her brother Steven who made the biggest Adams family splash through his spectacular - by Kiwi standards - entry into NBA basketball via the draft and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Valerie though produced a stunning 2013 slam dunk - she was unbeaten in 13 events, stretching her winning run to 42 since August 2010. Adams has revelled in the pressure-reduced sanctuary of a non-Olympic year, especially after she was robbed of full Olympic glory by the Belarus drug cheat Nadzeya Ostapchuk.

Topping the 2013 achievements, the 29-year-old won her fourth consecutive world title, in Moscow, becoming the first woman to win four individual golds.

Adams described this as a 70th birthday present for her Swiss coach, Jean-Pierre Egger. Switzerland, her training base for the past three years, is home away from home and she arranged for a yodelling accompaniment at her penultimate event in Zurich.

She produced one of her best wins there to claim the Diamond Race series and $48,000 prize. The final competition in Berlin typified Adams' dominance, as she beat the world number two Christina Schwanitz by more than a metre. One title beyond Adams was the IAAF women's athlete of the year - she made the final three but it was won by Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

"It's been a great year, and I have loved every minute of it," Adams said.

September surgery on the right knee and left ankle should have her primed for the 2016 Olympics.

- NZ Herald

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