Gold in the Bird’s Nest

Auckland athlete Valerie Vili, 23, has won a gold medal in shot put at the Beijing Olympics, the first for New Zealand in track and field since John Walker’s gold in the 1500m at Montreal in 1976. The reigning world outdoor and indoor champion clinched victory with a best throw of 20.56m. Vili produced the three best throws of the competition, following up her opening statement-maker with 20.40m, 20.26, 20.01 and 20.52 in as sustained a spell of athletic brilliance as you’ll ever see. “I wanted to put the pressure on from the start and I could do that with the first round throw,” said Vili. “I was really happy to get a personal best. It was an amazing feeling. It was a very long, exciting and nerve-racking competition because you can never put your guard down with the Belarussians up against you.”

Tags: BBC News  Beijing Olympics  John Walker  The Olympics  Valerie Adams