Valerie Adams has secured the IAAF Diamond League shot put series title for 2013 with her best performance of the year in Zurich Railway Station this morning.
The quadruple world champion was victorious in one of her favourite arenas, tossing a best of 20.98m, 1.01m ahead of her closest rival Yevgeniya Kolodko of Russia. The woman who has been the closest to Adams in 2013, German Christina Schwanitz, could only finish fourth, a distant 1.62m adrift of the New Zealander.
Not only was the winning distance the best in the world this year, it was also the 28-year-old double Olympic champion's longest throw for over 13 months. It was also a New Zealand indoor record and the fifth best performance of Adam's distinguished career, just 0.26m behind her personal best set at the world championships in 2011.
The performance added another eight points to her Diamond League total to finish with a commanding lead in the season-long series.
Adams finished on 24 points, with Schwanitz on 12 and American Michelle Carter on 8. Such was Adams' domination this year, she only contested five of the seven Diamond League rounds during the season, passing up the first and third meetings in Shanghai and Olso, but winning the other five in Eugene, Paris, London, Stockholm and Zurich.
The Zurich meeting was Adams' 12th meeting of the year and extended her unbeaten run to 41 meetings.
It was Adams' third consecutive win at the Zurich meeting and a new meeting record, extending her own record of 20.81m, set in 2012 which was the previous New Zealand indoor record. It came three years and ten days since her last defeat, also in the Zurich station.
Her series was 20.97m, 20.98m, foul, 20.66m, 20.76m and 20.42m. Even her worst measured throw would have won the completion by 0.45m.
The Zurich meeting is very different to competing in the usual track and field stadium, being indoors with the crowd very close to the athletes, not unlike in The Cloud in Auckland where Adams started her season, almost six months ago with a throw of 20.75m. The athletes got to perform to the music of their choice and Adams chose a track by a Swiss yodelling star in reference to her training base and second home on the mountains of Switzerland.
Adams is scheduled to complete her season in Berlin on September 1.
- © Fairfax NZ News