Fourth title would be 'greatest gift' for Adams

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 05:00 04/08/2013
Valerie Adams
Reuters
WAY OUT IN FRONT: Valerie Adams pumps her fists after a big throw during her victory in the shot put during the London Diamond League meet at the Olympic Stadium.

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Eight days stand between Valerie Adams and another slice of world athletics history.

In the early hours of Tuesday week, Adams will be in Moscow trying to add a fourth straight world shot put title to an already heavyweight CV.

Success would see the New Zealander join a highly exclusive group of track and field stars, including American long sprint great Michael Johnson, in achieving four individual world titles.

Already the holder of every major title in her sport, including the last two Olympic gold medals, Adams, in her final interview before the biggest event of her season, says she is well aware of what the next milestone would mean.

"There's not many people who have won four individual world titles and it would mean everything to me," Adamssaid from Magglingen, Switzerland.

"Particularly because a couple of days ago my coach [Jean-Pierre Egger] turned 70. It would be the greatest gift to give him.

"I'll be fighting tooth and nail out there. I'll be ready to roll.

"I'm feeling pretty good and I've just got to make sure that on the day I'm prepared and rested."

Scheduled to land in Moscow on Thursday, Adams says preparation involves following a strict, private and well-tested routine.

"I won't be doing any media . . . There's no point putting more pressure on myself than I have already," she said.

"I'll do a few tweets from Moscow because I like to keep everyone in New Zealand up to date with things but the time for talking is after the event.

"Particularly in the last 48 hours, I like to focus on why I'm there."

Heading in to Russia, Adams has returned to some of her best form.

Last week's dominant win at the Diamond League anniversary event in London's Olympic Stadium saw Adams post 20.90m - close to her personal best of 21.24m set at the last world championships in Daegu, South Korea.

So far the Kiwi leads the year's best throws by 74cm, over American friend Michelle Carter, and has been seeing consistent improvement from event to event.

And after last year's pinnacle event at the London games brought major stress from factors outside Adams' control, she's keen to enjoy this year's biggest meet.

"I really want to go out there and do well for my country but I also really want to have fun," she said.

"I want to enjoy it - which should be part and parcel of being an athlete. This is my fifth world championship team, and at 28 I'm one of the more experienced members this year."

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Moscow is not the end of Adams' 2013 season however. An intense series also lies ahead before a short off-season return to New Zealand.

"I plan to be home by mid-to-late September," she said. "I think my body will need a rest after that."

- Sunday News

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