During the New Zealand Track and Field Championships at the weekend Lisa Adams, with her world-famous sister and coach Valerie looking on, threw further than the women's F37 para shot put world record with a 14.13m heave.

It was evident how much it meant to the Rotorua athlete when, visibly emotional, she ran over to embrace Valerie. She spoke to the Rotorua Daily Post about her monster effort.

"It was just overwhelming and relief, but disbelief as well. I was [surprised at how emotional it was] but at the same time it's uncontrollable. It's just like a flood of emotions, that's how I felt," Adams says.

"I'm still in disbelief now, we don't talk about numbers. We don't measure at training, those are all about technique and different work-ons. It's not all about the distance you're trying to throw it's about the technique of each throw and focusing on those little work-ons."

Her throw at the weekend does 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.

Interestingly, she did not win the event either. In the para shot put, athletes compete with different disability classifications so their placing is decided on the percentage of the world record for that classification. Adams' throw was 101.15 per cent of the F37 record, but she was beaten by Auckland's Tayla Clement who threw 101.45 per cent of the F43 record.

Lisa Adams enjoys a moment with her sister and coach Valerie Adams after throwing further then the women's F37 para shot put world record distance. Photo / Photosport
Lisa Adams enjoys a moment with her sister and coach Valerie Adams after throwing further then the women's F37 para shot put world record distance. Photo / Photosport

Still, a world best throw, personal best, New Zealand record and silver medal is a remarkable haul. Particularly when you consider she achieved a personal best, New Zealand record and silver medal in the para discus the following day. Not bad for someone who started competing in athletics just one year ago.

Adams 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. She burst on to the shot put scene last year when, in her competitive debut at the Victoria Para Track and Field Championships, she broke the New Zealand para shot put record.

That throw was 10.41m, but she has since ramped up her training and dedicated herself to the sport, adding almost 4m to that in a year.

"I train alone when I'm here in Rotorua, I probably go up to Auckland and train with my sister [Valerie] twice a month if we can fit it in. She does my strength and conditioning, she sends me my training programmes and I do that here.

"I'm used to throwing alone, but having my sister there on Saturday was mean because she'll give me one or two things to work on after each throw. It is a huge help because she can see stuff that I can't feel, she knows it like the back of her hand.

"It took me ages to actually believe I could do this. It's one thing having people tell you you can and how far you're going to go, but it's hard if you don't believe it yourself. It's an individual sport, you can't blame anyone else it's just about how you deal with it."

Despite beating the New Zealand record on multiple occasions, producing a world best at the weekend and an ever-growing collection of medals, the one thing that really motivates Lisa is her 6-year-old son Hikairo.

"He's my why. I want to do well so I can give him the platform and stability he needs to follow his dreams some day."


At the same time, there is nothing like the brutal honesty of a 6-year-old to keep you grounded.

"He honestly doesn't care about what I do, he likes to bring up what he remembers, which is usually my failures. Like last year, before my first comp, I borrowed a discus and I was trying to do it. I threw it and it didn't land on the grass, it landed on the road. Or when I almost hit an official at one of the competitions. That's what he likes to bring up."

Adams will compete in the para shot put and discus again at the Sir Graeme Douglas International in Auckland on March 21 before embarking on her first international season.

Her plan includes the Australian Athletics Championships in Sydney, Oceania Championships in Townsville and at the end of the year the Athletic World Championships.

Her ultimate goal is the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and on her current trajectory you would not bet against her.