Dame Valerie Adams just failed to cap off a remarkable comeback to international sport when she finished second in the women’s discus tonight.
After taking the lead in the first round with a throw of 18.70m, her season’s best, she saw her major rival, Jamaican Danniel Thomas-Dodd equal that mark with her second throw.
Neither thrower could gain an advantage until Thomas-Dodd, on her fifth throw, turned in a massive 19.36m effort, which was too good on the night.
Dame Valerie’s sequence was 18.70m, 18.65m, 18.03m, X, 18.40m, 18.55m.
It is the best sequence of throws she has put together since the birth of her daughter last year and continues her record of improving with every competition since then.
However, on the night, Thomas-Dodd was too good.
The result means that Dame Valerie now has three Commonwealth Games gold medals and two silvers (to go with her two Olympic golds and a silver, and five world championship golds and a silver).
She was certainly not downcast later at missing out on the gold.
“It was hard work preparing for this event, but I had a great time out there,” she said. “It was a different dynamic, with my baby there now. I’m not just competing for me any more; I want to perform for her too.”
Dame Valerie said she could not have asked for any more tonight. “I have given this competition my all, from the time I had my child to now. Two weeks after she was born I was training, or at least moving around. It was a massive challenge and I wanted to take it head on.”
She said six weeks ago she was hardly throwing 16 metres so to get up to 18.70m represented a fast improvement.
“It would have been nice to win, but honestly, Daniell deserved to win. She was the best thrower tonight. Afterwards she was very nice to me, and said I had inspired her.”
Meanwhile, in the men’s 10,000m Jake Robertson ran an excellent race to finish fifth in a national record of 27min 30.40s.
Robertson was up with the leaders throughout the race and even spurted into the lead with about six laps remaining when he felt the pace beginning to slacken.
When the pace went on over the last couple of laps he dropped back to fifth, but he finished strongly.
“It’s been a year since I ran on the track,” he said afterwards. “Difference surface, different feel. I’d love to run against those guys on the road.”
Robertson said they had simply been too fast over the last couple of laps. “They smashed me at the end. But I wanted a decent time and this was okay.”
The 28-year-old New Zealander, who is based in Kenyan and spends his time running road races and now the marathon, said he was buoyed by the massive roar he received from the crowd.
“That was pretty cool actually. I thought, ‘Are the Aussies all cheering for me?’”
Robertson effort in running a national record was no mean feat when great New Zealand 10,000m runners such as Murray Halberg, Dick Tayler, Dick Quax and Robbie Johnson are considered.
Last month he broke Rod Dixon’s 35-year-old New Zealand marathon record with a 2h 08min 26s effort and he is looking to go considerably quicker next time.Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Jake Robertson Robbie Johnston Dick Tayler Dick Quax Valerie Adams Murray Halberg Athletics