Valerie Adams is slowly getting her groove back and it’s a feeling she loves.
The New Zealand former World, Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games Shot Put champion, celebrated her 14th national title in Dunedin on Saturday with a throw of 19.43m, the longest for either outdoor or indoor this season, and the 31-year-old who struggled with knee problems last season, was delighted with the effort.
The mark also bettered the 18.85m throw she did at the Auckland Track Challenge in Waitakere on 25 February.
In fact, apart from her first throw of 18.10m, Adams went over the 19-metre mark consistently in the series, with the winning mark coming in the final round of the final.
“I’m pretty stoked with today,” Adams said.
“I think it’s a better indication of where I’m at. I know there is still more there, but it’s just a matter of competing, competing and getting out there and getting my confidence back.”
She confirmed that there will be no more meeting for her until she competes at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 later this month.
“Next stop for this bus is Portland,” Adams said.
Adams’ winning mark this past weekend makes her the best women’s shot putter outdoors this season, while she sits top of rankings overall ahead of current indoor leader Gong Lijiao of China, who has a seasonal best throw of 19.37m.
After starting with 18.10m, the three-time World Indoor champion followed up with efforts 19.24m, 19.30m, 19.01m, 19.38m and 19.43m.
“Today was all about having fun,” she said. “Coming out and doing what I love to do and being patient.
“I’ve always realised, but I think I wasn’t realistic with it, that I am human. I have feelings, I hurt, I cry, I smile, I laugh. The last competition was very tough for me to swallow.
“Today, there was a little bit of frustration with one of the throws, but it is what it is. The big one is there raring, we just need to keep putting it in the pot and stewing it.
“We just have to make it nice and tender so when it does come out in Rio it’s going to be nice and delicious.”
When she competes in Portland later this month, Adams will be hunting her four IAAF World Indoor title after winning in 2008, 2012 and 2014.