The nation ran a full gamut of emotions while watching Valerie Adams this morning but that was nothing compared to the silver medallist herself.

The two-time defending shot put champion was chasing Olympic immortality in Rio and received a warm reception when she was introduced at Maracana Stadium.

Adams thrilled the crowd with her second throw, delivering her personal best for the season to take a stranglehold on the competition.

The throw of 20.42m looked to have been enough for the Kiwi to clinch her third gold medal but, in the final round, American Michelle Carter stunned Adams by producing the best throw of her career, leaving the defending champ needing one final big effort.

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But it wasn't to be as Adams fell 21cm short with her last effort, leaving Adams to rue what might have been.

Still, given all the injuries she had to overcome to get to the Games, Adams left the nation proud with a silver won rather than a gold lost.