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Difficult year leaves Valerie Adams content with silver

Valerie Adams was on course to become the first woman to win three successive Olympic golds until Michelle Carter summoned up the winning throw.

By: Reuters | Rio De Janeiro |
August 13, 2016 7:44:46 pm
Valerie Adams, Valerie Adams New Zealand, Valerie Adams shot putter, Rio 2016 Olympics, Rio Games, Sports news, Sports Valeri Adams, 31-year old shot putter was content to take home a silver after a late stunner from Michelle Carter. (Source: Reuters)

Valerie Adams came to Rio seeking Olympic gold and a place in the record books but after all the obstacles she has overcome this year, the 31-year-old shot putter was content to take home a silver.

The New Zealander was leading the women’s final and on course to become the first woman to win three successive Olympic golds in one individual event when Michelle Carter summoned up the winning throw on the penultimate attempt of the night.

“It is bittersweet but at the end of the day… it’s sport,” the four-times world champion told reporters.

“You have to take the good with the bad. I’m going to enjoy this moment.”

Adams said she had considered giving up on her Olympic title defence after a string of operations on her knee, elbow and shoulder left her in almost constant state of rehabilitation.

“I’ve had five surgeries in the last three years,” she said. “This time last year I had to cut my season short to have another knee surgery and continue rehab.

“It’s been a very long and difficult journey. Where I am today, I must say it’s been a struggle, it’s been pretty intense.

“A lot of athletes would have given up and retired if they had to go through the same thing. But with a great team around me they’ve been able to help me get through this very difficult time. I persisted… and today goes to show hard work pays off.”

Although twice an Olympic champion, Adams has only stood at the top of the podium once.

She received her London gold medal in 2012 in a special ceremony back home in New Zealand after Belarusian Nadzeya Ostapchuk was forced to return it because of a doping offence.

Adams made it clear she thought it unlikely the same thing would happen again this year.

“London was a whole different story with a whole different bunch of people, some very strange looking people,” she said.

“I’m just happy to go on the podium tomorrow and know that everything is legit.”

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