Valerie Adams celebrates her victory in Zurich (Gladys Chai van der Laage) © Copyright
General News Zürich, Switzerland

Adams and Hoffa capture Shot Put titles in Zürich

Zürich, SwitzerlandCompeting before an energized capacity crowd at Zurich’s main trains station, Valerie Adams and Reese Hoffa won their respective Shot Put competitions tonight while each capturing the 2012 Samsung Diamond Race in the event.

For the third consecutive year, organizers of the Weltklasse Zürich held the Shot Put competitions on the day before the main meeting, a set-up that's proven popular among athletes and fans alike.

Adams, the London Olympic champion, dominated the women’s competition with a 20.81m meeting record while Hoffa, in a much more competitive men’s competition, took top honours with a 21.64m best.

Adams dominates from the start

As has become the norm for the New Zealander, Adams dominated from the first round and eventually won by more than metre-and-a-half. Opening with a 20.52m toss, she improved to 20.80m in the second to break the two-year-old meeting record by 17 centimetres. She improved again in round three with 20.81m, and wound down the competition with efforts of 20.41m, 20.36 and 20.48m. All things considered, not a bad day at the office for the two-time Olympic champion.

Adams tallied 28 points in the series to lift the Diamond Race Trophy for the second consecutive year. Her victory also extended her unbeaten streak to 29, currently the longest by a woman in the sport and not far behind German Robert Harting’s 32-meet run in the Discus Throw.

Likewise the positions behind her were already decided in the first round. Michelle Carter of the U.S. opened with 18.94m, a throw that would have held up for second throughout the competition. But after a pair of fouls, the 26-year-old former World junior champion improved by a centimetre to 18.95m in round four, and again to 19.25m in round five. The outing also elevated her to the runner-up position in the Diamond Trophy chase with nine points.

Finishing third here and in the overall ranking was Cleopatra Borel, topping out at 18.66m in round three.

Christina Schwanitz of Germany was a distant fourth with 18.61m. Yevgeniya Kolodko of Russia, the Olympic silver medallist, continued her post-London slump, rounding out the top-five with 18.51m.

Hoffa most consistent

The men’s contest was considerably closer.

Hoffa, who opened with a modest 20.53m, sat in second after the first round with Ryan Whiting setting the early tone with 20.89. But Hoffa, the Olympic bronze medallist, found his groove in the second round, reaching 21.12m to take the lead for good.

He improved to 21.64m in round three with Whiting coming closest with a 21.49m effort in round five. Hoffa closed with 21.01m and 21.04m tosses and Whiting with 21.05m.

Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski never quite found his rhythm but did reach a respectable 21.18m, also in the third round, to take third.

Hoffa ended the series with 24 points to raise his first Samsung Diamond League Trophy, well ahead of Majewski who was second overall with 12. Canada’s Dylan Armstrong, last year’s overall winner and a distant fourth tonight (20.54m), was third with 10 points.

The biggest surprise was reigning World champion and Olympic silver medallist David Storl of Germany, who backed out of the competition due to injury after three straight fouls.

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Bob Ramsak for the IAAF