Two-time Olympic shot-put champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand, hoping for a third Olympic gold medal in Tokyo this year, threw 19.65 metres in Auckland on Saturday, her longest in competition since 2016.
The 36-year-old Kiwi track and field legend fired four of her throws past the 19m mark at the Sir Graeme Douglas International meet, with her second throw the longest in the world since August 2019. Only five women have thrown further since 2016 Olympics.
One of New Zealand’s most decorated athletes, four-times world champion Adams won the Olympic title in 2008 and 2012 before taking silver behind American Michelle Carter at the Rio Games five years ago.
She took the 2017 season off to have her daughter Kimoana but returned to win her fifth Commonwealth Games medal on the Gold Coast in 2018.
Adams changed coaches in October last year and has been commuting to Christchurch to work with Dale Stevenson as she prepares for the delayed Tokyo Games.