06 MAR 2008 General News

Women's Shot Put - FINAL

This was a simple competition. Valerie Vili was simply in another class altogether.

The final of the women’s Shot Put was a parade of supremacy by the New Zealander, who came of age last summer when she wrestled the outdoor World title in the last round from the clutches of defending champion Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus. That was one of the highlights of those Osaka Worlds, a close head to head battle which went to the wire.

What a contrast a few months can make, as Vili never was challenged, never threatened for a moment today. Her 20.19m opening effort was never approached by the Belarussian let alone anyone else, and Vili’s 20.07m in round three cemented that supremacy, as did her last put of 19.89m, each of which would have been good enough for the gold.

Vili had blasted 20.13 outdoors in New Zealand in February but Ostapchuk was the indoor season leader with 20.35. However, you would not have gained that impression this afternoon. With the exception of the giant silver fern of New Zealand emblazoned on her black body suit Vili was pure gold today.

Ostapchuk’s third round 19.74m took the runners-up spot, with Meiju Li of China taking bronze in the sixth round with 19.09m which went past Cuban Misleydis Gonzalez third effort of 18.75m.

But today was all about one person, Valerie Vili.

Chris Turner for the IAAF