Above: Dame Valerie Adams cruises into shot put final as top qualifier. Photo by Alisha Lovrich / Temposhot.
As Tom Walsh did, it only took one attempt for Dame Valerie Adams to qualify for the final of the shot put.
The three times consecutive Commonwealth champion, twice Olympic champion and four times world champion needed 16.50m to automatically qualify and she easily sent the shot out to 18.52m.
Adams was the top qualifier, with Brittany Crew of Canada the next best on 17.50m.
Meanwhile, Angie Petty drew the fastest heat and finished fifth in 2:00.62, unfortunately not able to advance to the final from this position despite her time.
The first two from each of the three heats and the next two fastest advanced.
Petty led over the first lap in 59.62 but when the pace went into the back straight she was unable to respond, Caster Semenya winning in 1:59.26.
The eleven times New Zealand champion was disappointed with her effort.
“I think I did all the right things in the first 500m I just couldn’t respond when they went with 250m to go which I was annoyed with myself over.
“I just didn’t feel great in the back straight and as I come around the bend I said to myself no I’ve still got more, I’ve still got more just be patient. I didn’t want to go too wide around the bend and I should have gone a bit earlier, but my legs were really tying up in that last 50 metres,” she said.
It frustrates Petty being so close.
“It seems like in the last few championships being that close, which is really hard especially to have run two flat point six and just miss out.
“It was a hard field and when you’ve got Caster Semenya and it’s the first two to automatically qualify you still aim to win it but she’s another whole league so really it’s kind of fighting for that next spot without being negative it makes it tough to qualify without having a semi-final.
“I thought I was good enough today, I was positive, training really well, really good time trials.
“This is better than the world champs (in London) I still ran two flat and a second off my PB but I should be running better and I gave it everything and I’m glad I was confident enough to go in that first lap, just annoyed I didn’t have it I that last 100m,” she lamented.
Petty explained that she had an itchy leg on starting.
“It’s annoying because that could be the difference between point one. I think it is a nervous thing.
“I had everything focussing on that final and thought I had it this time, I ran better than I did in Glasgow and I made the final there with a slower time,” she added.
Missing out on the final is going to hurt Petty for some time.
“I’m grateful to all the support I have out there and I do feel like I’ve let down New Zealand, I’m really sorry, it’s going to hurt for a long time as the world champs did, But I’ve got to keep on fighting.”
Athletics New Zealand Correspondent
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