Adams Confirmed for Christchurch
The International Track Meet confirmed today that Valerie Adams would be returning to Christchurch next week to compete in the Radio Sport Allcomers Shot Put.
New Zealand’s premier track and field meet, again being held at Christ’s College, on the 22nd of February, includes an innovative Throws Quadrathlon this year, of which the Shot Put is the pinnacle event. Adams will be up against many of New Zealand’s best young throwers, both male and female, as well as Australian competitors. This unique event will also see the New Zealand record holders for both the men's (local favourite Tom Walsh) and women’s events go head to head for bragging rights.
Adams said today “I’m delighted to be able to be competing again in Christchurch, I love the ITM and everything it brings – crowd, atmosphere, just everything. It’s a great way for me to kick off 2014, especially after recovering from my surgery.”
Walsh, who trained with Adams in Switzerland last year prior to breaking the New Zealand record in Australia in December, was excited that Adams was confirmed. “She’s a superstar, it will be great to have her competing here in Christchurch again” he said today.
The shot put will kick the International Track Meet off in style, being the first event on the programme at 4.00pm sharp. Event director Paul Coughlan commented that crowds should get there early to catch the action – “Valerie is the best in the world at what she does, a once in a generation phenomenon, so let’s get the crowd in around her and give her a warm Canterbury welcome.”
Tickets are already on sale at selected City Council venues and sports shops, as well as online, and would be on sale at the gate from 11am on the day. The gates will open at 3pm, and Coughlan is predicting a queue to get in. “Our first year at Christ’s College, we had a queue down Rolleston Ave to the Armagh St bridge – the old-timers said they haven’t seen that for athletics since the 1974 Commonwealth Games. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that again with people wanting to get a good spot to see Val and Tom throw.”
The throws fields were further boosted today by the announcement that Australian Dani Samuels, a former world discus champion who competed against Beatrice Faumuina at this meet in 2010, would be returning alongside two promising young compatriots, Christie Chamberlain and Alix Kennedy. They would be taking on the Kiwi trio of Siositina Hakeai, Te Rina Keenan, and Leesa Lealaisalanoa, who all demonstrated good form at the Porritt Classic in Hamilton last weekend. Hakeai in particular will relish the international competition, after throwing a Commonwealth Games qualifying standard and NZ under-20 record in Hamilton.
The quadrathlon will commence with the hammer throw and qualifying rounds of the discus and shot put at Rawhiti Domain on Friday the 21st, with the top athletes in shot and discus going through to the main event on Saturday 22nd. Updates on competitor entries and ticket availability are on the website.