17 August 2009

South Auckland 1, World 0

Valerie Vili won her second world title in shotput last night in Berlin, and was awarded with what will probably be New Zealand's only medal of the championships. Check out her arms.

Do you wanna fight me?

Vili, who grew up Valerie Adams in South Auckland's finest suburbs, has always impressed - from her World Youth and Junior titles, to a silver at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002, and since then she's tended to win pretty much every event. The noted exception was in Athens in 2004, where she didn't make the top eight cut to qualify for the final. Of course, later the winner tested positive for drugs, and Val should have been in the final anyway. If she was pissed about it, she never let anyone know. She's composure central, that girl.

I sat next to Valerie while at the New Zealand Track & Field Championships in 2007. She's fairly... intimidating. I'm pretty sure I was the same size as her leg.

Anyway, last night she successfully cemented her dominance in an event that typically sees new winners every cycle, if not every year. What a star. We love Valerie. Congratulations!

At the same meet, probably around the same time that Valerie was putting her winning throw out there, five black guys ran 100m in under 10 seconds. The fact that it's possible to do that still amazes me, even though it's been happening since the late 1960s. Winner Usain Bolt, who is just... really not as attractive as his sponsors probably wish he was, ran 9.58s. Before he arrived on the scene, such a time would have nearly everyone in the athletics world suspecting drug use. But this guy is just so far and away better than everyone else, we're too amazed to think anything but... is this guy Superman?

The next placed runner, Tyson Gay, turned in a swift 9.71s. That's fast, kids. But it probably looked like he was running in sand next to Bolt, who famously crossed the Olympic finish line last year sideways. Anyway, it's been a while since all the runners in a final were so impressive, so good work guys.

Peace, love and 20.44m throws.

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