Valerie Adams coming for her gold medal
Valerie Adams is the only champion from the London Olympics who never received a gold medal - and she's going to see about that tomorrow.
The New Zealander said today she will hand over her shot put silver at the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne, and find out about getting the gold that was initially taken by disgraced rival Nadzeya Ostapchuk.
Ostapchuk later tested positive for a banned steroid and was disqualified in the biggest doping scandal at the London Games.
However, the Belarus athlete has pledged to appeal, making Adams wait for her prize.
"I don't care what she does. I'm giving back my silver medal to get the gold," 27-year-old Adams told reporters after winning her event at the Athletissima Diamond League event, close by the IOC offices.
"It's been a rollercoaster ride for me since London. It's been not the easiest."
Adams went to the Olympics strongly favoured to defend her title, and as a three-time world champion.
Yet Ostapchuk upset the form book beating Adams by a full 66 centimetres. She has denied that her performance was enhanced by drugs.
"A lot of people asked a lot of questions of her," Adams said, her pleasure in victory mixed with obvious frustration at Ostapchuk's behavior. "She can appeal as much as she wants. I don't want to waste any more breath or time on her.
"I'm here, I'm the Olympic champion whether she likes it or not and that's the truth. That's just it."
Adams had wanted to receive her gold in Lausanne, where her winning effort was 25 centimetres better than her best in London.
"Tonight I wanted to go out there, have fun, win the competition and have a smile on my face," said Adams, who trains in Switzerland and regards Athletissima and the Weltklasse meet in Zurich next week as home fixtures.
She would be happy to receive her medal when 26,000 fans pack the Letzigrund stadium at Zurich next week - even if it falls short of the podium moment she lost before 80,000 spectators in London.
"I want it in a stadium full of people because that is where our support is," she said. "But if it doesn't all happen, there will be somewhere in New Zealand with a whole bunch of New Zealanders, and 4 million people will be able to enjoy it."
Adams had wanted to receive her gold at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting, where she won today, with a meeting record effort of 20.95m.
The distance, which was 25cm further than her best at the London Olympics, defeated second-placed American Michelle Carter by more than a metre.
Adams, whose training base is nearby in the Swiss mountains, popped her first throw out 20.73m, then followed it with 20.28m on her second. After three straight foul attempts, Adams pushed her last effort just short of 21m.
The gold medalist now has a commanding lead in the Diamond League standings, with 16 points, ahead of disgraced Belarusian Nadzeya Ostapchuk, on five points. Ostapchuk did not compete in Lausanne and will be absent for the three remaining rounds in Birmingham, Zurich and Brussels after having the London Olympics gold medal stripped for a failed drug test.
Meanwhile, Nick Willis finished 11th in the men's 1500m, more than three seconds behind winner Silas Kiplagat of Kenya. Willis ran 3:34.85 and collected his first point of the Diamond League season.
- AP, Stuff