Awesome Valerie Vili sets New Zealand record in Shot Put at WAF

By Symone Goss, World-Track

THESSALONIKI, Greece —

Valerie Vili produced a New Zealand national record, and world-leading and World Athletics Final championships best mark to win the women’s Shot Put competition in Thessaloniki on Sunday.

Vili, who dominated the event all summer won with a huge heave of 21.07metres to win by a daylight, as no other thrower went over the 20metres barrier.

“I came here to perform well and it proved to be a great competition for me,” said Vili.

Belarus’ Olympic bronze medallist Nadzeya Ostapchuk won the second place with a third round effort of 19.56m with her teammate Natallia Mikhnevich, the Olympic silver medallist finishing third with a mark of 19.27m.

Elsewhere in the field, Cuba’s Yarelis Barrios set a championship record of 65.86m to win the women’s discus throw, while Australian Fabrice Lapierre saved his best jump for last when he produced 8.33m to take the men’s long jump over American world champion Dwight Phillips (8.24m).

Primoz Kozmus of Slovenia won the men’s Hammer Throw with an effort of 79.80m to beat Latvia’s Igors Sokolovs (79.32) and Krisztian Pars (HUN), 77.49m.

On the track, American 400m queen Sanya Richards showed her class with a powerhouse finish to win the event in 49.95seconds over early race leaders Jamaicans Novlene Williams-Mills (50.34) and Shericka Williams (50.49).

Another American Anna Willard continued her unbeaten card over the 800m this summer with her fourth win from successive races here in Thessaloniki.

Coming from behind, Willard, the Olympic 3000m steeplechase finallist overhaul some strong finishers with another good run to win in 2:00.20.

A quick finishing Maggie Vessey from the United States took second in 2:00.31 and Briton world bronze medal winner Jennifer Meadows, third 2:00.41.

Kenya’s 19-year-old William Biwott Tanui won the men’s 1500m in 3:35.04 and Ethiopian Imane Merga won the men’s 5000m in 13:29.75.

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