13 SEP 2009 Report

Event REPORT - Shot Put - WOMEN

Valerie Vili celebrates her huge heave of 21.07m in the women's Shot (Getty Images)Valerie Vili celebrates her huge heave of 21.07m in the women's Shot (Getty Images) © Copyright
That Valerie Vili would win the final edition of the World Athletics Final wasn’t a particularly major surprise. That she would do so in such dominating fashion, to cap a season which began in February, certainly was.

The 24-year-old New Zealander, who took her second successive World title in Berlin last month, capped her stellar 2009 campaign with her finest competition ever, twice reaching beyond her previous personal best.

Fully relaxed after a solid 20.30m opener – no one except Vili, the reigning Olympic champion, had thrown farther this season – Vili exploded in the second round, launching her first career toss beyond the 21-metre line, which eventually landed at 21.07m.

She ended the competition with another big effort, a 20.72 toss, the second farthest of her career.

“I came here to perform well and it proved to be a great competition for me,” said Vili, who began her 2009 season at home in Waitakere on 20 February, and went on to win each of her 13 competitions this year.

Apparently pleased with her stellar campaign, Vili said, “No more competitions for me this year.” Instead, she’ll be leaving for Paris shortly to pick up her husband Bertrand and head onwards to a well deserved vacation.

Today’s was Vili’s 25th consecutive victory, currently the longest unbeaten streak in the sport. Her last loss came in this corresponding meet in 2007, when she was defeated by Nadezdha Ostapchuk of Belarus, the 2005 World champion.

Ostapchuk was second this time around, but more than a metre-and-a-half back with a 19.56m best. Her compatriot, 2008 Olympic silver medallist Natallia Mikhnevich was third, her best measured at 19.27.

Nadine Kleinert (19.05m) of Germany, who won a third World silver in Berlin last month, was the only other thrower to reach beyond 19 metres, and finished fourth.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF