World-record holder and now world champion, Rotorua's Lisa Adams has wasted no time finding her feet in para athletics.

Just 18 months after giving para shot put a go for the first time Adams, coached by double Olympic champion sister Valerie, has won gold at the World Para Athletics Championships overnight (NZT).

Her first throw of 14.70m beat the world record of 14.52m, which she set herself at the Sir Graeme Douglas Athletics Championships in March. She improved that record further with a massive heave of 14.80m on her final throw.

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Adams, who has left hemiplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that affects the movement and growth of muscles on the limbs of one side of her body, said she was still coming to terms with what she had achieved.

"It hasn't quite sunken in yet but the medal ceremony was real special and it made it more real, standing there and having our national anthem played."

She had targets set for herself going into the event but was not expecting to break the world record again.

"I had my own mental goal in mind but breaking the record wasn't part of that so that's a nice bonus. Containing nerves and staying calm went well on the day, I felt there was more there but just couldn't bring it out. I was happy with the consistency of my throws though."

With such a famous older sister, it may be easy to say shot put is simply in the blood but it is Lisa who has put in the long hours at training to get to where she is. Her biggest motivation? Her son Hikairo.

"He's always my drive to do what I do. I can't wait to show Hikairo my medal, I'll hopefully Skype him tonight but I'll be able to show him in the flesh when I get home next week. Also, knowing that we're working towards future goals and these are the stepping stones for those goals makes me work hard.

Rotorua's Lisa Adams competes in the Women's Shot Put F37 on Day Three of the IPC World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai. Photo / Getty Images
Rotorua's Lisa Adams competes in the Women's Shot Put F37 on Day Three of the IPC World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai. Photo / Getty Images

"I've trained really hard for this, usually five days a week. I've pretty much trained for the last 18 months so it's cool to have it pay off with today's win."

Having previously played a range of sports, including rugby, netball and basketball, Adams first announced herself on the athletics stage in March last year.


She travelled to Melbourne to get internationally classified as a para-athlete. While there she ended up competing in the Victoria Para Track and Field Championships. She proved to be a quick learner, finishing third in both the discus and shot put and, in her first official competition, breaking the New Zealand para shot put record.

Weeks later she won both the shot put and discus at the New Zealand Track and Field Championships.

Premium gold

In March this year, she went back to the national event and threw further than the world record but it did not count as an official world record as the New Zealand Track and Field Championships is an approved meet but not sanctioned with World Para Athletics.

Three weeks later she bettered the record again, at the Sir Graeme Douglas Athletics Championships in West Auckland, and this time it counted.

Now, she will get back to training with her eyes set firmly on the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo.

Caitlin Dore finished seventh in the shot put F37, with a best throw of 9.50m in the final round, a new PB and Otago record for the Dunedin-based thrower.

Also competing in the morning session on day three of the championships were Anna Steven, who placed seventh in the final of the 200m T64 with a time of 30.33s, and Ben Tuimaseve, who had a best throw of 12.08m in the shot put F37 which placed him 12th overall.

On the track, Danielle Aitchison cruised through her heat of the 200m T36, taking first place in 30.52s and securing her place in the final.

The World Para Athletics Championships run until Friday, November 15. A New Zealand team of 15 athletes is competing at the event.

Lisa Adams' throws at the World Para Athletics Championships


2. 13.15m

3. 14.45m

4. 14.60m

5. X

6. 14.80m