Valerie Adams wins NZ's 600th Games medal

MARK GEENTY IN GLASGOW
Last updated 10:56 31/07/2014
Sky Sport

It was was race for NZ's 600th medal at the Commonwealth Games. Valerie Adams claimed it with a gold in the shot-put, closely followed by a silver to weightlifter Staislav Chalaev.

Valerie Adams through the ages
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Valerie Adams at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002. She won silver.
Valerie Adams
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New Zealand's golden girl Valerie Adams celebrates winning the women's shot put.
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Valerie Adams
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KIWI CHAMPION: Valerie Adams waves the New Zealand flag after winning gold in shotput at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

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Nearly four years on from her last gold medal presentation at a Commonwealth or Olympic Games, Valerie Adams savoured every second on the dais.

There was no fuss, no drama, just job done for the world No 1 who snared her third successive Commonwealth Games gold in the women's shot put, 1.31m clear of Trinidad and Tobago's Cleo Borel, her "bestie".

It was her 54th successive competition victory in a winning streak stretching back to August 2010. Adding to the occasion at a packed Hampden Park, Adams matched Val Young's feat of three successive Commonwealth shot put golds (in 1958, 1962 and 1966), and also raised New Zealand's 600th medal.

The medals were dished out by New Zealand Olympic Committee president Mike Stanley well after 10pm local time as the stadium emptied, but a swag of Adams' compatriots remained to celebrate in the stands.

"It was amazing. There were a whole bunch of Kiwis out there and they all stayed back to sing the national anthem and enjoy the moment. It was a moment to savour which was awesome," she said.

Robbed of the chance to climb the top level of the dais in London two years ago, when beaten by drug cheat Nadzeya Ostapchuk, Adams beamed and waved from start to finish.

On a chilly summer night when Adams said she wore a thermal top for the first time in competition, she was unlikely to threaten her Games record of 20.47m set in Delhi in 2010.

Her best effort of 19.88m was her second, while Borel replied with 18.57m and Canada's Julie Laponte won bronze with 17.58m.

Adams' best throw this year remained her 20.67m at the world indoor championships in March.

"I was definitely a bit flat, with the big hype of the Commonwealth Games and all this," Adams said.

"The aim of the game was to come here and win so we've successfully done that. I wanted more but c'est la vie, I won by a metre 30. The goal was to win and I'm pretty happy to take this puppy [gold medal] home."

Asked to analyse her performance, Adams said: "Screw analysing, it's time to celebrate.

"I know exactly what went wrong and I was flat, technically I was fine. The competition is there, a win is a win and maybe if there was someone pushing me closer then I could have popped out something further. But gold medal is what we came here for and gold medal is what we are taking home."

Adams was introduced as "one of the all-time greats of the modern era" to the full house of 44,000 and drew a huge roar. Pockets of Kiwi athletes and fans rose to their feet in the crowd.

She looked relaxed and strolled around the circle cutting an imposing figure in black, complete with purple shoes, and a white towel draped around her shoulders like a shawl between throws. The women's shot played second fiddle to the men's 800m semifinals as Olympic champion David Rudisha blazed around and brought the crowd to its feet.

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Adams' first throw was slightly anti-climactic, a no throw, but she soon hit her straps with a 19.88m second effort which was 0.46m further than Borel's personal best. It was game over, and Adams had gold after one hour's work. She saluted the crowd and draped herself in the New Zealand flag in a low-key celebration.

Adams carried the flag for New Zealand at the opening ceremony which provided extra motivation to lead the way. She won't stay for Monday's (NZT) closing ceremony and will fly out early Saturday (NZT) to her Swiss training base with coach Jean-Pierre Egger whose birthday fell on gold medal night. It's back to work, with four more competitions to complete this season.

View Stuff's Commonwealth Games medal table.

- Stuff

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