Magnificent Adams a Kiwi legend

'Unstoppable force in the shot put world'

DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
Last updated 14:23 07/08/2014
val adams
ROBERT KITCHIN/ Fairfax NZ
HEAVY METAL: Valerie Adams celerbates her shot put gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, one of the highlights of a ‘‘very difficult year’’ in which injuries finally caught up with her.

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OPINION: An age old question that gets discussed quite a bit around the world is who that particular country's greatest sportsman or woman is.

When considering names among the best sportswomen New Zealand has produced, names that will be on most people's lips probably include the likes of squash player Susan Devoy, cyclist Sarah Ulmer, rowing's Evers-Swindell twins, boardsailer Barbara Kendall and several others.

All of these women achieved phenomenal success at the peak of their respective sporting powers and few would argue they are at the top of the tree.

However, there's one name that surpasses them all.

If you've been watching the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, you may have seen a certain Valerie Adams in action.

After securing another games gold in the shot put for her 54th consecutive event win, there's no doubting she has to be the best.

If it hadn't already been confirmed, it must surely be now.

Her list of accolades is stunning.

Four world championships, three world indoor championships, two Olympic gold medals and three Commonwealth Games gold medals, as well as countless other titles says it all really.

She's an unstoppable force in the shot put world and there's no indication she's going to be toppled from the mountain top anytime soon.

At only 29 years of age, she's got plenty of legs left and quite frankly it's scary to even comprehend what she might continue to achieve.

I'm sure a few people thought her period of dominance might be coming to an end when she was initially out-thrown into the 2012 Olympic silver medal position by Belarusian Nadzeya Ostapchuk.

We all know what happened there, with Ostapchuk being banned for doping not long after and Adams being promoted to gold.

That episode showed the gulf between Adams and the rest.

It's going to continue for a long time yet.

STEWART SET FOR CHOP?

I came across a really quite incredible rugby league statistic the other day.

In the last five years of his National Rugby League coaching career, Raiders coach Ricky Stewart hasn't coached any side to consecutive wins.

That's remarkable in the worst possible way.

This season has been an absolute shocker for Stewart and the Raiders, with the Green Machine, and I use that term very loosely these days, in 15th position on the 16-team ladder.

The Raiders used to be considered one of the competitions ‘glamour clubs'.

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Now they're just a rabble, which I'm gutted about having supported them for more than 20 years.

I'm not the type to jump ship though, so I'll always stick with them. However, I can't say the same for Stewart.

It's only his first year with the club in a coaching capacity and as much as I hate to admit it, I think he'll probably be around next year too.

Personally I hope he gets the sack, but I can't see it happening just yet.

- The Timaru Herald

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