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Adams squeaks past season's best in Rome

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/06/2016

New Zealand's Valerie Adams was most happy with her consistency after scraping past her season's best to win the shot put at a Diamond League meet in Rome.

New Zealand great Adams finished nearly a metre clear of a relatively weak field with her best throw of 19.69m.

The distance was 1cm further than her winning heave in Morocco two weeks ago, continuing a gradual improvement as she attempts to return to full fitness.

While she isn't in the same frame as her Diamond League record of 21.03m achieved in Rome four years ago, Adams is content to take small steps in her recovery from elbow and shoulder surgery late in 2014.

"Last year was really tough for me. What I need is to get competitions under my belt," she said.

"I was really good today. I am a lot more consistent than I have been in the past."

Five of Adams' throws ranged from 19.46m to 19.69m, with nearest rival Anita Marton of Hungary managing a best of 18.98m.

Adams takes the lead from Marton in the Diamond League race, based on points across all meets, but it means little as her nearest rivals for gold at the Rio Olympics - German Christina Schwanitz and American Michelle Carter - haven't been competing.

The 31-year-old returns to the throwing circle in Birmingham on Sunday, where other Kiwis on the programme include Rio-bound 1500m runner Nick Willis and 5000m runner Camille Buscomb.

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