Valerie Adams captured the hearts of 44,000 spectators at Hampton Park as she sent the shot put out to 19.88m to claim her third Commonwealth Gold Medal and made it the 600th Commonwealth medal for New Zealand.
In cold conditions Adams’ winning performance came in the second round. Her best friend on the international circuit Cleopatra Borel of Trinidad and Tobago was second with 18.57m and Julie Labonte of Canada third with 17.58m.
“I’m pretty happy obviously the goal was reached today to win the gold medal, three peat, I’m pretty stoked going back to Melbourne, Delhi and now in Glasgow. It’s my coach’s birthday, it’s kind of like worked out quite well and I’m so proud to be a New Zealander.”
Adams admitted that the performance was a bit flat but technically fine.
“The big hype of the Commonwealth Games, the aim of the game is come here and win so we’ve been able to successfully do that. It was a bit flat I obviously wanted more but hey c’est la vie I won by a metre 30, winning by another two metres sure I would have got championship record but the goal was to win and today I’m happy to take this puppy home,” said Adams clutching her gold medal around her neck.
“The competition is there a win is a win, it is what it is, gold medal is what we came here for and gold medal is what we’re taking home,” she added.
Adams was surprised as to how many Kiwis there were in the stadium and stayed back for the medal ceremony which was held well after the evenings competition had finished.
“They all stayed back to sing the national anthem and enjoy the moment, a moment to savour which is awesome. Any time you get hear a national anthem is such a privilege and I’m just so proud to come from New Zealand and to be able to make our mark on the world stage especially at the Commonwealth Games, it is a three peat for me and that is something to celebrate.”
It was also the 29 year old’s 54th consecutive victory and she has now gone unbeaten since August 2010 and has not finished outside the top three in any international competition since 2005.
The third Commonwealth title adds to her two Olympic titles, four world and three world indoor titles.
Her personal best is 21.24m in winning the 2011 world title in Daegu South Korea.
Borel was full of praise for Adams.
“Val is great to compete against actually, she’s a great person, she’s just amazing so for me it’s not that I compete against Val I just try to improve myself and where ever that puts me that’s where I’m at because Val is just amazing and so I can’t destroy my chances by trying to be Val I’m just myself,” said Borel.
“Val does cast a large shadow on the event, but compared to other champions that we’ve had in the past, she’s just an amazing leader for the women’s shot put and every day I try to beat her,” she added with a laugh.
Athletics New Zealand