Track & Field
Victory was never in doubt for Valerie Adams at the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, yesterday.
The Olympic champion's best throw of 20.26m was good enough to beat the rest of the field by more than a metre, but it was down on her mark of 20.70m to win the gold medal in London.
However, considering the emotional rollercoaster she's been riding for the past two weeks, it would have been overly optimistic to expect the 27-year-old to approach 21 metres.
"I got the win OK, it was my first competition after the Olympics and the last 10 days haven't been the easiest to deal with," Adams said yesterday.
"But I am happy with the win and I won by over a metre.
"This competition was more about blowing the cobwebs out and getting back into the rhythm of competing again."
The Olympics had clearly taken a toll on Adams, who had to battle through entry and accommodation issues before competing in London, deal with the disappointment of initially getting a silver medal and then finding out Nadzeya Ostapchuck of Belarus had been disqualified.
So there was a sense of relief from her to be out there competing yesterday, inside the circle and doing what she does best.
"I had a lot of fun out there," she said. "I wanted to throw more but I did consistently go over 20m and I have to be happy with that.
"I'll look to throw something bigger in Lausanne [on Friday] - I've only just got back into training because I only trained properly since Monday for this meet."
Second yesterday was Olympic silver medallist Yevgeniya Kolodko of Russia, with a throw of 19.08m, and Germany's Christina Schwanitz was third with 18.72m.
Adams will stay in Europe for the rest of the Diamond League series, which goes to Lausanne, Birmingham, Zurich and Brussels over the next three weeks.
"My goal is to defend my Diamond League title from last year, have fun and finish off the season well before I head back home."
Although Adams has already all but wrapped up the Diamond League series, there is valuable prizemoney to pick up.
The winner of each event earns $12,400 plus the overall winner at the end of the series gets $49,500.
So although it's natural that Adams is longing to come back home to New Zealand, there is important work to be done and with one meet under her belt after the Olympics, she'll find it easier to move on.
"The last 10 days have been pretty dramatic and pretty full-on, so I just want to enjoy myself out here," she said.
- Sunday Star Times