Second on the 2006 World lists, New Zealand’s Valerie Adams is likely to be one of the main contenders for the women’s Shot Put podium at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan.
A former World Youth and World Junior champion, Adams took bronze in Helsinki two years ago and is now getting ready to try to improve on that result:
“I find that motivation and success go hand in hand. Motivation leads to success and success keeps me motivated and focused.
“I love training. Training hard and sweating heaps makes me feel great. The hunger to want to perform well is a great motivator to keep me training hard. It is intense work and you have to sacrifice many other things in your life but the success is worth it.
“Standing on the podium with a gold medal hanging around your neck and the whole stadium watching you as your National Anthem is played is an amazing experience that would be pretty hard to beat.
“I remember my first international win and gold medal for New Zealand; the 2001 World Youth Championships in Hungary. The success of winning was a big motivator, but the main drive for me was the memory of my Mum who passed away in 2000. She would have been so happy and proud of me.
“Competition is another thing that keeps me motivated. In New Zealand the next best thrower throws about 7m less than me so I need to get overseas to get good competition.
“This is exhausting work as New Zealand is so isolated and it takes 2 days just to get over to Europe and settled. It is knowing though, that the competition overseas is harder that gets me so excited and hungry to compete. And when it is competition time I am firing on all cylinders ready to strike as hard and fast as I can.
“There is good competition out there for me from the Belarusian [Nadzeya Ostapchuk] but I am going to give them a run for their money in 2007, you can count on that!“