Adams finally gets her hands on shot put gold
Forty four days after the competition and 18000 kilometres from London, New Zealand’s Valerie Adams finally got her hands on the Olympic shot put gold medal on Wednesday.
Adams, who finished second in the final on Aug. 6 only for winner Nadzeya Ostapchuk to fail a dope test, was presented with the medal at a special ceremony in Auckland.
Flanked by the other New Zealanders who won medals in London, the 27-year-old climbed on to a podium and received the medal from the country’s Governor General Jerry Mateparae before the playing of the national anthem.
“Thank you so much to the people of New Zealand for your love and support for me as an athlete, I do this for you,” Adams, clearly close to tears, told the audience of some 2000 people.
A three-times world champion and defending champion in London, Adams had hoped to pick up the medal in Europe while she was competing in Diamond League events.
Belarussian Ostapchuk, however, only gave up the medal last week and Adams had to wait until after she arrived back home on Wednesday.
“I’ve finally got it, I can’t believe it,” Adams added, brandishing the medal. “Now it’s time to move on and enjoy this, there are only six of these in the country.”
Ostapchuk, 31, was handed just a one-year ban by the Belarussian anti-doping agency last week after her coach said he had spiked her food with steroids.