14 Aug 2013

Adams makes history in Moscow

6:17 am on 14 August 2013

New Zealand shot-putter Valerie Adams became the first woman to win four consecutive world titles on Monday, dedicating it to her coach.

Adams secured gold in Moscow with a throw of 20.88 metres, 47 centimetres ahead of Christina Schwanitz from Germany (20.41m) and China's Gong Lijiao (19.95m).

She said the latest victory was a present for coach Jean-Pierre Egger, 70, whom she has been working with since 2010.

Adams, 28, who lives and trains in Switzerland, previously won word titles in Osaka (2007), Berlin (2009) and Daegu (2011), and has two Olympic gold medals.

Any of her best four throws at the Moscow meet would have been good enough to claim gold. The athlete said her latest victory is great for New Zealand and for women in sport.

"I win because I work hard," she said after the event. "It was my plan to grab the lead from the opening throw so as to put pressure on the others. I'm just super happy now. My aim was to dominate them and I definitely did that."

Adams said it felt fantastic to have made history. "I come from a very small country and to be able to put my country up there amongst the likes of Germany, USA and China - it's a privilege and it's an honour. I'm blessed with talents that I'm utilising today, and thanks to my parents and my coach has definitely moulded me into something else."

But as she told Checkpoint, it doesn't stop there.

"I strive to be a better athlete and strive to be the best in the world for as long as I can. This is my 39th consecutive win, and not a day goes by that I don't think about training or my sport in one way or another."

Adams said Monday's win was even more amazing after what she had to go through at the London Olympics in 2012 when she was beaten into second place by Nadzeya Ostapchuk but eventually awarded the gold after the Belarussian failed a dope test.

Sports and Recreation Minister Murray McCully said on Tuesday that Valerie Adams has cemented her place as one of New Zealand's all-time sporting greats - and there was still plenty of time ahead for her to reach new heights.

Former All Black Jonah Lomu said he was in awe watching Adams win her fourth world title. Adams, like Lomu, was born in New Zealand and is of Tongan descent.

He told Radio New Zealand that watching her throw a shot put was a beautiful sight and called her a great ambassador for the country.

Tongan Council chairman Melino Maka said sports stars like her are an inspiration for youth and it's an extremely proud day for Tongan people everywhere. "I think it shows you (with) commitment and dedication, you will get there."

Athletics New Zealand said winning a fourth world title was a supreme achievement for Valerie Adams, the sport and the country.