Dame Valerie Adams didn’t waste much time during the qualifying event for the women’s shot put today.
She required only one throw to not only qualify for tomorrow’s final, but to finish a vast distance ahead of everyone else in the qualifying event.
Dame Valerie, 33, threw 18.52m, which she termed a PBPB (post-baby personal best). Though still a long way short of her best ever, today’s effort continues her trend of improving with each competition outing since the birth of her daughter.
The next best throw today was Canadian Brittany Crew’s 17.50m.
Dame Valerie has an incredible shot put CV, which includes three Commonwealth Games golds and a silver, two Olympic golds and a silver, and four world championship golds and a silver.
The other New Zealander in action today was 800m runner Angie Petty, who was most unlucky not to advance to the final.
Petty, 26, struck the fastest of the three heats, not surprisingly considering it included Caster Semenya, the South African who is an overwhelming gold medal favourite.
The New Zealander led for the first 500m and then a group of runners passed her. Petty did not respond quickly enough and left herself too much to do in the straight.
Even though she finished strongly, she could manage only sixth in her heat, in a time of 2min 00.62s. She was the fastest non-qualifier, and in another heat her time would have earned her automatic qualification.
“I did all the right things for the first 500 metres,” Petty said, “but I didn’t respond well when they went past. I was gaining at the end, but saying that, my legs were tying up too.”
Petty said that with only two to automatically qualify, having Semenya in her heat made it difficult.
“I mean, we’re trying to win, of course, but let’s be honest, she’s a great athlete. You’re trying to grab the other automatic qualifying spot.”
“I’m disappointed to run 2 minutes.06s and not get through. Saying that, it’s still a second and a half off my best. I trained well and should be running better.”Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Angie Petty Valerie Adams Athletics