Val Adams suffered the heartbreak of seeing what looked like a certain gold medal wrested away from her in the dying moments of the women’s shot put competition today.
Adams, 31, seeking to become the first New Zealander to win three Olympic gold medals in the same event, wasted no time in stamping her authority on the women’s field.
She opened with a good 19.79m effort. When her closest opponent, American Michelle Carter, responded with a second-round 19.82m, Adams hardly blinked.
She stepped up a threw a season’s best 20.42m, which for the rest of the competition seemed sure to be the winner. History beckoned for Adams.
Then on her final throw, Carter banged out a 20.63m effort. It was a stunning performance, which she hadn’t even hinted at earlier.
Up stepped Adams for the last throw of the competition. A moment earlier she would have suspected the gold was hers. Now she needed a massive effort to hold on to her crown.
She tried and got to 20.39m, but it wasn’t enough.
Carter was the Olympic champion and Adams, twice the Olympic gold medallist, four times a world champion, had to settle for the silver.
Adams graciously congratulated Carter and wandered off looking slightly bewildered, as were her New Zealand supporters.
Anita Marton of Hungary was third with 19.87m.
On winning the silver after recovering from surgery last year Valerie Adams said "I'm very happy with this performance. When I've come so far from last year, I'm going to take it.
"I'm really happy. It is a season's best. I've struggled last year and through this year. It was pretty tight until the last round."
On the track, Nikki Hamblin failed to progress past the women’s 1500m heats. She raced in heat 2, which turned out to be a quick one. Hamblin could not match the finishing pace and was 13th in 4min 11.8s. Twenty-four runners progressed.
New Zealander Quentin Rew competed in the 20km walk earlier today. He was lying in 46th position (out of 74 starters) when he was disqualified just after the 12km mark. He had reached 12km in 49min 46s.
The race was won by Zhen Wang of China in 1h 19min 14s.Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Quentin Rew Nikki Hamblin Valerie Adams Athletics