Double Olympic champion Valerie Adams has let her rivals know she means business in Rio, by winning the Monaco Diamond League shot put with her best throw in almost two years.
Adam's winning throw of 20.05m - in her fifth round of the competition - was 24cm better than Germany's Christina Schwanitz, while American world indoor champion Michelle Carter was third with 19.58m.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Adams in comments to the Diamond League’s Thomas Byrne. “The distance was definitely more important than the win. The win is just a bonus, it shows I still have the competitive fire in me.”
Adams has a distinguished history at the Diamond League, having won the women’s shot put consecutively from 2011 to 2014. Her winning shot is her best in-competition attempt since September 2014 and goes some way to putting to rest concerns over a nagging elbow injury. Adams underwent surgery on her shoulder and elbow in 2014.
Rio will be Valerie's fourth Olympic Games having won gold in the shot put at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and finishing seventh in her debut at Athens 2004.
Valerie has been the dominant women's shot putter in the world since 2006, only beaten twice in major world events during that period and having an unprecedented winning streak of 56 competitions between 2010 and 2014. She was the IAAF world female athlete of the year for 2014.