22 Nov 2014

Adams named world athlete of the year

9:19 am on 22 November 2014

New Zealand's champion shot-putter Valerie Adams has been named the female world athlete of the year at the IAAF gala event in Monaco.

Adams is the first New Zealander to win the IAAF award.

Val Adams wins in Belgium 2014.

Val Adams wins in Belgium 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The double Olympic gold medallist shot putter beat off two other finalists, Ethiopian middle distance runner Genzebe Dibaba and Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers to win the coveted award after being a finalist for the last three years.

Adams says she's so proud and humbled by this and it makes such a special ending to a challenging but very successful year for her.

She thanked the IAAF and the Athletics community.

Adams says they have such a great sport and they should all be very proud of what their sport brings.

She also thanked all the support back adding it's nice to have this award for her country as well.

Adams put a lot of her success down to her Swiss coach Jean-Pierre Egger, her Auckland-based physio Lou Johnson and the support team around her.

The Award comes at the end of another very triumphant but tough year for the New Zealand shot putting diva.

Recent double surgery to correct shoulder and elbow injuries followed a season where she won the World Indoor championships title in March for the third time, gained her third consecutive Commonwealth Games gold and her fourth IAAF Diamond League crown.

Adams swept all before her in 2014, remaining unbeaten and extending her winning streak to 56 competitions since August 2010.

In March she threw the best indoor performance in the world, winning the World Indoor Championships with a throw of 20.67 and in her final competition of the year, the IAAF Diamond League final in September, set the world outdoor best for the year of 20.59m.

The next competition for the four times world champion has not yet been confirmed, but Adams will not be rushing back into competition until her surgeries have been completely rehabilitated to allow her to train and compete at the level required to chase an unprecedented fifth world championship title in Beijing next August and a much sought after third Olympic gold in Rio 2016.

The men's award went to French Pole Vaulter Renaud Lavillenie, who broke Sergei Bubka's long-standing world record during the year and retained his Diamond League crown. The other two finalists were high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim from Qatar and Kenyan marathon record holder Dennis Kimetto.

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