Since 2007, the recipe for the women’s Shot Put has remained unchanged: take Valerie Adams and Nadzeya Ostapchuk; add others to taste, mix and apply heat; wait until Adams and Ostapchuk rise to the top.
From Osaka 2007 through to Daegu 2011, the New Zealander and the Belarusian have ruled the event. It was Adams first, Ostapchuk second in Osaka, in Valencia 2008, in the Continental Cup in Split in 2010 and in Daegu last year. In Doha 2010, it was Ostapchuk first, Adams second.
The only time the recipe varied was in Beijing 2008, where Ostapchuk’s teammate Natallia Mikhnevich split Adams and Ostapchuk to take the Olympic silver medal. Ostapchuk did not compete in Berlin 2009, allowing Germany’s Nadine Kleinert to take the silver behind Adams.
It was the same in qualifying in Istanbul 2012 this Saturday morning. Adams and Ostapchuk both went through to the final tonight with just one throw and finished 1-2 in the qualifying round.
Ostapchuk was first up, throwing seventh of the 18 competitors. She went 19.26m, well in excess of the automatic qualifying distance of 18.60m. Two throws later, Adams pumped the shot out 19.43m to top the group and also move through with minimum effort.
There is not much to separate the pair on distance this year. Ostapchuk tops the world indoor list with 20.70m last month in Mogilev; Adams threw 20.67m outdoors in Sydney on 18 February.
Can anyone split them in the final? Jillian Camarena-Williams of the USA is second on the world indoor list with her 19.89m to win the US title. She took two throws to get through qualifying, a first-round foul followed by 19.11m.
The two others to exceed the automatic qualifying mark were Kleinert, with 19.00m and the USA’s Michelle Carter with 18.61m.
Russia’s Irina Tarasova (18.76m this year, 18.57m in qualifying), her teammate Evgeniia Kolodko (19.47m, 18.52) and China’s Liu Xiangrong (18.46m, 18.29m) were the three non-automatic qualifiers to make the top eight on distances and advance to the final.
Len Johnson for the IAAF