Valerie Adams scores a convincing win at the IAAF / VTB Bank Continental Cup in Split (Getty Images) © Copyright
Ostapchuk had arguably been the most dominant female athlete on the athletics circuit in 2010 and had defeated arch rival Valerie Adams in all eight of their meetings this season. To say a victory here was expected from Ostapchuk would be an understatement.
But if 2009 told us anything about the Women’s Shot, it is to never rule out World and Olympic Champion Adams until the season is over. The New Zealander set her Area Record of 21.07m in her last competition of 2009, and once again she left her best throw of the year until September.
Opening with a season’s best of 20.70m, Adams immediately made her intentions known. Ostapchuk responded with 19.75m, almost a metre adrift. Adams increased the pressure with another season’s best of 20.86m – a mark Ostapchuk has only once surpassed outdoors this year. More significantly, it was the second best throw ever at the IAAF World Cup and was within 12cm of the oldest women’s Competition Record in the IAAF World Cup record books, set in 1979 by Ilona Briesenick.
The Belarussian came back with 20.13m in round two and 20.18m in round three, while Adams was on fire, throwing 20.76m. Ostapchuk entered the circle for her final throw, but mentally she already appeared to be defeated and fouled out, settling for second place.
Chinese youngster Gong Lijiao threw a season’s best of 20.13m for third, with no other athletes breaking 19 metres. Misleidys Gonzales of Team Americas was fourth (18.62m), ahead of USA’s Jillian Camarena-Williams (18.49m) and Olga Ivanova of Team Europe (18.24m).
Adams, who has recently been working with her idol, Werner Gunthor, ended her series with a throw of 20.56m. All four of her attempts were significantly better than any other throw she has managed this summer – quite a way to end the season!
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF