Yesterday for Valerie Adams was only supposed to be about bringing the shot put to Auckland, to say thanks to her home town fans.
Instead, Adams stunned the 400 spectators at The Cloud by throwing a massive 20.75m from her final put of the event.
It was a mark that not only broke the New Zealand and Oceania indoor records, plus being the biggest throw anywhere in the world for 2013, but it eclipsed the throw of 20.61m from the London Olympics, which won her the gold medal.
While there were six other competitors in the field, it was Adams everyone came to watch.
Her first throw of 19.93m was impressive enough. She went 1cm better with her third, and broke through the 20m mark with 20.07m from her fifth throw.
But the 28-year-old saved her best for last by recording 20.75m from her sixth attempt.
Not only was Adams elated with the throw, but so too was her coach, Jean-Pierre Egger.
"If you would have asked me before if she would throw 20.75m I would have bet you $1000 she wouldn't do it," Egger said.
"But she did it, Valerie has done a good job this week, she was very stressed about other things beside sport, with sponsor and social events.
"I was a bit unsure what she would do in competition, if she would lose some aggressiveness and speed, but she was motivated, and when she is motivated she's a warrior." Adams admitted that she too was surprised to throw so far.
"We [Adams and Egger] hadn't really spoken about distances but we said 20m would have been great," she said.
"I was feeling good at the warmup, training has been going good and I'm stoked. It is the best opening [event] I've ever had in my career and I'm just looking forward to 2013 now.
"This is my dream and to have this happen today is great for the future of athletics here in New Zealand.
"Also this is to inspire our young generations. If I can inspire one or two people my job is done. I am just super stoked to do a massive throw in front of a great crowd."
Immediate attention turns to the Sydney Track Classic on Saturday, and longer term it's towards the European season, culminating at the World Championships in Moscow in August.
- Sunday Star Times
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