Michelle Carter in the shot put at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Brussels (© Giancarlo Colombo)
Olympic champion Michelle Carter brought her season to an end with a win but the Diamond Trophy went to Valerie Adams at the special city centre shot put competition held ahead of the main IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels on Thursday (8).
Held in the historic surroundings of the Belgian capital’s Grand Place, and on a raised platform for maximum visibility, Carter saw Adams reach 18.97m in the opening round before fouling her first attempt.
Adams, who had the gold medal in Rio snatched out of her hands by Carter in the last round, improved to 19.32m in the second round but then everything fell into place for Carter who launched her shot out to 19.98m.
It proved to be the winning distance, and the fifth best competition in Carter’s long career which includes a world U20 title back in 2004, but the excitement and long puts continued through all six rounds.
Adams improved to 19.48m in the third round to let Carter know she could never relax and closed the gap further with 19.57m in the final round.
However, Carter was the dominant figure in the competition and after her second effort, she added two more puts beyond 19.60m – 19.69m in the third round and 19.61m with the last attempt of the competition – to consolidate her victory.
“It was my last meeting of the year so I had to give it everything," said Carter. "I would have loved to go over 20 metres but it wasn’t to be but I certainly can’t be disappointed with the distance.
“Throwing in a place such as this was a great opportunity to show off shot putting, it’s a great setting. I really enjoyed it and the crowd were great, right behind us.
“It’s a beautiful setting and I love the architecture. We’ve had some great competitions in city centres, Stockholm and Zurich spring to mind, but none as beautiful as this.
“Now I’m going to get home and relax," added Carter. "I’ve got quite a few appearances lined up after winning the gold in Rio and then I’m going to go on holiday, probably in November, somewhere warm, maybe the Caribbean."
Fittingly, as the event was part of an IAAF Diamond League final, Carter was sporting a large pair of earrings which at least looked like they were giant diamonds.
“No, they are not real,” said the ever-glamourous Carter. "I’d be too scared of losing them or them falling off if they were real and I wouldn’t be thinking about the competition, but they are rather spectacular, I like them and they’ve become my lucky earrings as I was wearing them in the final in Rio."
Adams confirmed her third Diamond Race victory in finishing second, starting the competition with an unassailable 21-point margin over Hungary’s Olympic bronze medallist Anita Marton, who finished third on the day with 19.11m.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF