News & Updates

4 February 2023 • Track and Field

Adams turns up the heat at Sola Power event

Para athlete Lisa Adams unleashed a world-class throw of 15.18m to win at the Sola Power Throwers meet today in Lower Hutt. Credit: (Maddi King).

Paralympic champion Lisa Adams ignited the Sola Power Throwers Meet in Lower Hutt today by unleashing her longest throw for two years with a mighty hurl of 15.18m

The 32-year-old superstar athlete gave a clear demonstration of her world-class gifts to dominate the women’s Para shot put competition and offer real optimism ahead of the World Para Athletics Championships in Paris in July.

On Friday night, Adams performed well at the Team Ledger Harcourts Capital Classic, firing the 3kg metal ball to 14.73m. But less than 24 hours later she turned up the quality of her throwing a notch to produce a 15.18m effort in round three and followed this up with a 14.99m effort in the fourth stanza.

To put the performance of the reigning world and Paralympic shot put F37 thrower into context, Adams’ world record mark set in 2020 stands at 15.50m.

After striking gold at the Tokyo Paralympics the Lake City AC athlete underwent surgery and she also admitted it was challenging to maintain motivation in the wake of the postponement of the 2022 World Para Athletics Championships in Kobe, Japan. However, her performance at the SolaPower Throwing Academy today suggested she is approaching her very best form.  

“I am really stoked,” she said. “I have gone through some changes following surgery and today was the furthest I’ve thrown for two years – and six centimetres further than when when winning gold in Tokyo.

“Today is a good stepping-stone, a good benchmark. It is still early in the season, and I will look to continue to progress my season from here.”

Adams will look to compete at the Porritt Classic in Hamilton on 11 February before moving on to compete at the 2023 Jennian Homes New Zealand Track & Field Championships in Wellington (2-5 March) before heading north for the Sir Graeme Douglas International Presented by Harcourts Cooper & Co in Auckland on 16 March.

Behind Adams, Sionnan Murphy bettered her national U20 shot put F37 record for a second successive day. The 17-year-old Takapuna Athletics athlete who powered the shot out to 8.54m last night at Newtown Park added a further 18cm to that mark today to complete a very satisfactory couple of days work for the Aucklander.

New Zealand U20 shot put champion Natalia Rankin-Chitar (Papatoetoe), who posted a PB of 14.95m at the Team Ledger Harcourts Capital Classic, backed up that performance today to win the U20 event with a best of 14.37m. Mikayla Sola (Lower Hutt) – daughter of event organiser, Shaka – won the U18 women’s shot competition with a PB of 13.49m.

Nick Palmer (Hastings) fired out his best effort of 18.72m in round six to claim a comfortable victory in the men’s shot from the improving Liam Ngchok-Wulf (Papakura), who recorded a best of 16.99m.

Another national para record tumbled as Jack Lewer clad 8cm on to his New Zealand open shot put F20 mark as the Palmerston North athlete pinged the 7.26kg shot out to 12.03m. Para athlete Corran Hanning (Kiwi Athletic) followed up his national U20 shot F20 record of 13.45m at Newtown Park on Friday with a best of 13.31m today.

However, in the men’s discus he exceeded his national U20 F12 record, firing the 1.75kg implement to an impressive 37.89m.

Jake Zaia, the 2022 national silver medallist of Titahi Bay, edged a close-fought senior men’s discus throw by 97cm with a best of 48.54m from Nathaniel Sulupo, the Samoan international. Zaia’s club-mate Lui To’omaga Tapuai claimed victory in the U18 division with a best of 40.11m.

Para athlete Millie Marshall-Kirkwood, 14, of Athletics Inglewood also enjoyed a day to remember in the women’s shot and discus events. Competing with the U20 implements she posted 5.11m in the former event to finish third on percentages – behind Adams and Murphy. Meanwhile, in the discus (1kg) she bettered each of her first five throws departing the competition with a best of 15.26m to point to a hugely exciting future in the sport. Sionann Murphy (F37) won the discus on percentages with a 22.55m throw.

New Zealand U20 women’s champion Natalia Rankin-Chitar put in a dominant display to win the women’s U20 category with a best of 49.73m. A 40.24m toss by Ana Ellison-Lupena of Titahi Bay earned her top spot in the U18 division.  

Aussie Damian Wells claimed top spot in the men’s hammer with a best of 54.16m. The evergreen 55-year-old Phil Jensen, the 2002 Commonwealth Games silver medallist and 20-time national senior men’s hammer champion, grabbed second with 50.88m with 2022 New Zealand U20 silver medallist Max Abbot setting a PB of 48.76m in third.  

Alex Hewitt (Mana) shaded the U18 competition with a best of 53.14m from Heath Abbot (Karori), who set a PB of 52.73m for second.

Lexi Maples (Christchurch Old Boys) shaded a competitive senior women’s hammer event with a best mark of 55.89m from Taieri’s Dyani Shepherd-Oates (53.52m). The respective national U20 and U18 champions dominated their age divisions with Elizabeth Hewitt (Mana) hurling the hammer out to 51.06m (U20) and Mikayla Sola (U18) taking top honours with 45.50m.

The day after setting a PB of 58.04m at Newtown Park New Zealand U20 silver medallist Kaleb Sola (Lower Hutt) backed this up claiming the scalp of senior men’s national javelin champion Jared Neighbours. The 19-year-old Sola clinched top spot with a 53.42m to eclipse the best mark of the Christchurch Old Boys athlete by 1.38m.

Angus Lyver, the national U20 decathlon champion, enhanced his javelin personal best for a second successive day to win the men’s U20 division. The versatile Palmerston North athlete fired the 800g spear to 55.68m in Wellington last night before improving today with a 56.37m mark.

Leala Willman (Auckland City) was another athlete to improve across the two respective meets at Newtown Park and at the SolaPower Throwing Academy. Yesterday she hit 35.40m only to set another PB of 36.92m today to win the U20 women’s javelin.  

Full results here