24 Feb 2020

Adams second as Osei-Nketia wins 100m

5:48 am on 24 February 2020

New Zealand shot put star Dame Valerie Adams suffered a rare defeat on home soil, finishing second behind Canadian Sarah Mitton at the Sir Graeme Douglas international meet in Auckland.

Dame Valerie Adams at the Potts Classic in Hastings.

Dame Valerie Adams. Photo: Alisha Lovrich

Adams best throw was 18.73 metres, with Mitton throwing 18.84 to claim the title.

Canadian Brittany Crew was third.

It was Adams third event back competing after giving birth to her second child.

Adams, who will wrap up her New Zealand season at next month's Nationals in Christchurch, says it was good to be challenged in Aotearoa.

"It's been great to have athletes of that level come down to New Zealand and help us out with our competition tonight. After this I have nationals in Christchurch and then that's the New Zealand season done. It's awesome to come out here and showcase what we can do."

She said while she would have liked to have thrown over 19 metres, she's comfortable with where she's at heading towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which start in July.

"This is only my third comp back and it's been a very consistent competition. I would have hoped for more, the target for us now is the 19m mark, but I'm very happy and so was coach with where we are at, at the moment.

Adams will compete at the Nationals before heading overseas to continue her Olympic preparation and she said her desire to compete at the highest level hasn't waned and she's determined to make her mark at this year's Tokyo Games.

After placing second in his heat in 10.34, Edward Osei-Nketia had to wait over an hour while the result of his 100m final was protested.

Jack Hale of Australia, who raced the 100m under protest, finished in first place but was later disqualified.

After Hale's disqualification Edward was promoted from second to first with a time of 10.19.

Next was Australia's Rohan Browning in 10.23 and Jake Doran in 10.47.

Tom Walsh was first in the men's shot put with a best throw of 21.66m, ahead of Ryan Ballantyne who threw a new personal best for the second week running with a best effort of 19.71m.

Third was Australian Damien Birkinhead with 19.69m.

Although Tom said it feels like he is moving in the right direction, he hasn't quite found his groove at the moment.

"I think it's just time. It's a long time until the Olympic Games, but also I want to be throwing well now and I'm not, because I know I could be if my timing's on and my timing's not quite on now, but it's frustratingly close."

With 700m to go, Nick Willis was in the lead in his 1500m race, unfamiliar territory for the veteran who said he is not normally a front runner.

With a strong final lap and lunge for the finish line, Nick was able to hold on to first, crossing in 3:41.77 ahead of a competitive Rorey Hunter of Australia in 3:41.81. Third was Luke Young in 3:43.44.

"Looking back in hindsight I think I will be really pleased as I watch this race," said Willis.

"Nine times out of ten he would have passed me in that last 100m, but I managed to regather. I think that being on home soil and I know it sounds cliché, but also being on TV, I've got to try and do this, defend home soil and thankfully he tired up as well and I managed to out lean him, so it was a lot of fun."