Dame Valerie Adams has committed to a Tokyo Olympics campaign.

If the three-time shot put medallist is selected, she will join Barbara Kendall as the only other New Zealand woman to feature at five Games.

However, the 33-year-old's path to further glory shapes as a challenge.

If her European and Commonwealth Games competitions were a gauge this season, the international field is strengthening.


Adams and husband Gabriel Price also became parents to daughter Kimoana in October which saw her devote more time to motherhood rather than the throwing circle. She started fulltime training again in January.

Adams' manager Nick Cowan confirmed the double Olympic champion was "totally committed to her next two to three years".

He said she would not be returning to Europe this season, but described the 2020 Games as an "important landmark".

"She is focused on that, but also making sure, as a new mother and athlete with other things going on her life, that the balance is right and that she's putting in the right preparation."

Adams finished second to Jamaican Danniel Thomas-Dodd at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, before heading to the Shanghai, Rabat and Monaco Diamond League events, and a meet in Lucerne.

She produced a season's best 19.31m to secure fourth in Monaco last month.

China's Lijiao Gong won that event with a throw of 20.31m, 7cm short of the best throw of the season, set by her in June. American Raven Saunders finished second with a 19.67m heave and German Christina Schwanitz, who gave birth to twins in July 2017, was third after a 19.51m effort.

Elsewhere in the field were American Michelle Carter, who beat Adams to win gold at Rio, and Thomas-Dodd. Completing the eight, American Maggie Ewen and Pole Paulina Guba had also thrown further than Adams this season.


As a result, no-one in Team Adams is underestimating the scale of the task ahead.

Yet none of those seven athletes have dominated the discipline like Adams has since her maiden world championship in 2007. No woman from any era has. She once reigned unbeaten for 107 consecutive international meets across eight years, nine months and 17 days.

Cowan said Adams had come into competitive form with her recent performances.

"She's been reaching over 19m - and her training throws have proven better than that - but she does have a knee niggle.

"It's not something we're necessarily too worried about, but she needs to retrench a bit back into the gym and get on top of the situation with some robust training to ensure she's got an eye on the bigger prize of Tokyo."

One school of thought was that April's Commonwealth Games might have been Adams' last major performance.

Speaking after the competition, Adams described having her daughter handed to her to celebrate the silver medal.

"I didn't know what I was getting into when signing up for this, but I have total respect for every mother out there.

"I was totally overcome with emotion.

"That gave me perspective on life and how important it is to build one around a sporting career."

That international career of 16 years looks set to add further chapters.