15 Aug 2016

Why Val Adams' silver is no disappointment

9:56 am on 15 August 2016

Sports Call - After winning silver in Rio, Val Adams can still be considered the best in the world - she's just not the Olympic champion any more.

Valerie Adams celebrates a put in today's final.

Val Adams celebrates a put in the final in Rio. Photo: AFP

New Zealander Val Adams spoke to reporters following her second place finish in the shot put in Rio and I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed for her.

She voiced some sadness at not winning, but she didn't really show it - she'd already had a few hours to get over any dark thoughts she may have had before talking to the media.

However she does have 12 years of Olympic experience behind her as well as all those years in between competing around the world.

You'd think that would make the emotions worse, and maybe it does, but for a professional sportsperson winning and losing is all part of the game.

I think we all would have loved for her to claim her third gold - it would have helped New Zealand's standing on the medal table - but I think most of us felt some sadness rather than disappointment for her.

I've followed her closely over the last couple of years - she's had injuries and surgeries and there were probably times when there were doubts that she'd be able to compete at another Olympics.

It was an achievement that she threw as far as she did.

Adams said she was happy with her performance: "It's been one heck of a struggle, this time last year I was at home getting my knee operated on and recovering from all the other crap I'd been through and Rio seemed so far away, and here I am now with a medal around my neck competing at my fourth Olympics, I cannot be too disappointed about that."

Following her through social media, Adams and her coaches and trainers have had a rigourous programme for her over the last 12 months and she was able to record some personal bests in the weight room.

It paid off - her series of throws in Rio included the two furthest she'd thrown in two years, and it took an American record by Michelle Carter to beat her.

If any athlete sets some sort of personal best at a major competition then they've probably done all they can.

If you get beaten by someone better than you then there is very little you can complain about.

Val Adams didn't get near her personal best in Rio, but for what she's been through in recent years I think her top distance probably was her best.

Valerie Adams topped the field in the Women's Shot Put Qualifying Round in Rio.

Val Adams' series of puts in Rio included her two best throws in two years. Photo: AFP

That is all part of sport.

"I'm at peace with it, obviously the goal was to win, we were so close and yet so far.

"I'm a little bit disappointed, but one thing I do know is that I left my heart out there trying.

"The Olympics are funny but it is the pinnacle of our sport, this is what we live and train for ... it's like the All Blacks preparing for the World Cup and wanting to win it is the ultimate goal.

"Being an Olympic champion is incredible and something you can only do every four years which makes it a lot more difficult to do."

So has the 31-year-old got another four year Olympic cycle in her?

She has said that competing in the next Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in 2018 is an option.

Adams recently married and I have no doubt that developing that family will play a part in her decision.

I think she can continue to dominate the sport for a while yet, and she can probably still be considered the best in the world - she's just not the Olympic champion anymore.


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