Athletics: Adams takes bronze in Oregon

By David Leggat

Valerie Adams competes in the shot put final at the IAAF World Indoor Championships. Photo / Getty
Valerie Adams competes in the shot put final at the IAAF World Indoor Championships. Photo / Getty

It's not a medal she's particularly used to, but Valerie Adams is taking the positives out of her bronze medal in the world indoor championships shot put in Oregon today.

The double Olympic champion was having her first international competition since the middle of last year. It was a year of rehab and surgeries, and plenty of hurt, missing the world championships and having to accept, as she put it, ''getting my my arse kicked".

''I have to look at the positives out of today and that is I did have a podium finish and did come out and compete after what has been a very long journey for me. It's great to be back," Adams said from Oregon tonight.

The competition had a terrific conclusion.

American Michelle Carter had taken the lead from the second round, with Adams on her tail. But with her final throw, Hungarian Anita Marton, lying third, threw a spanner in proceedings, producing a cracking 19.33m to take the lead.

Adams, whose best effort was her third throw of 19.25m, was unable to top that, leaving Carter with one throw to win gold. She did it with a brilliant 20.21m, an American record, and best throw of the year.

That third throw had Adams' excitedly hopping on the spot, knowing it was a quality heave. However Carter went six centimetres past her moments later and then had a final ace in her back pocket. Marton's effort meant Carter had to play it to secure victory.

It is Adams' fifth world indoor medal, to go with three golds and a silver, and it is the first time she's been eclipsed in a major international meet since 2010.

''It's good to be competing at international level with these girls, it's very exciting. But Rio is the big picture," Adams said of August's Olympics.

Her coach Jean-Pierre Egger estimates Adams requires about 10 percent improvement to be a big chance in Rio.

''If we are to go over 20m, it's a must for us," he said yesterday.

Of the result, Egger said ''it's okay, it's not a bad performance. It shows us realistically what we have to do until Rio. It is a good test to see we are not ready, we have much to do, and we will do it."

Adams is relishing the challenges to come. Her rationale is straightforward.

''I know I still have more in me. It's just a matter of getting out and getting more competitions under my belt and working on that confidence in competition at international level."

Her medal is New Zealand's second at the world indoor champs, after men's shot putter Tom Walsh won gold 24 hours earlier.

New Zealand's competition ends this morning with Nick Willis competing in the 1500 final.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 06 Dec 2016 17:05:34 Processing Time: 1042ms