28 Mar 2009

Vili headlines NZ track and field champs

7:33 am on 28 March 2009

The New Zealand Track and Field Championships has begun in Wellington, with Olympic shot put champion Valerie Vili gunning for her ninth straight title.

The Beijing gold medalist won last weekend at the Australian nationals, and will be looking to better her New Zealand all comers and residents record of 20.25 metres, set in Waitakere last month.

On the track young Canterbury sprinter David Ambler will be competing in his first senior 100 metres, fresh from posting a new mens under 19s record of 10.35 seconds.

Lining up alongisde him will be four-time national champion and defending champion Chris Donaldson, with Olympic representative James Dolphin opting to race the 200 metres only.

Female sprinter Monique Williams will be looking to become the first person to complete the 100, 200 and 400 metre treble three years running, while perennial discus champion Beatrice Faumuina will be seeking her 16th national crown.

The competition concludes on Sunday.