Adams' long unbeaten streak ends in Paris

Valerie Adams (above), who was returning after shoulder surgery, had to settle for fifth place in the women's shot put won by Christina Schwanitz (left) at the Paris Diamond League meet.
Valerie Adams, who was returning after shoulder surgery, had to settle for fifth place in the women's shot put won by Christina Schwanitz (above) at the Paris Diamond League meet.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Valerie Adams (above), who was returning after shoulder surgery, had to settle for fifth place in the women's shot put won by Christina Schwanitz at the Paris Diamond League meet.
Valerie Adams (above), who was returning after shoulder surgery, had to settle for fifth place in the women's shot put won by Christina Schwanitz at the Paris Diamond League meet.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS • New Zealand shot put star Valerie Adams suffered her first loss in almost five years of competition, as she made her comeback from double surgery at Saturday's Paris Diamond League meet.

The double Olympic and four-time world champion's last outing was at the 2013 Brussels Diamond League, her 56th successive victory in an event she has completely dominated over the years. Adams' last legitimate loss was to the disgraced Nadezhda Ostapchuk in Zurich in August 2010.

But the 30-year-old Kiwi underwent double surgery to repair her left, non-throwing shoulder and right elbow in September 2014, and her first attempt at a competitive comeback ended meekly - a shock defeat for someone so used to topping the podium.

German Christina Schwanitz won with a 20.31m effort, ahead of China's Gong Lijiao (19.75) and American Michelle Carter (19.37).

Trinidad and Tobago's Cleopatra Borel claimed fourth (19.07), with Adams in fifth, managing a best of just 18.79m over her six efforts, far off her personal best of 21.24m.

Adams, one of only nine athletes, alongside the likes of Usain Bolt, to have won world titles at youth, junior and senior levels, was phlegmatic about her defeat, with a potential fifth world title up for grabs in Beijing next month.

"I'm happy to be back," she said. "I took the risk and came to compete against the best current girls.

"I knew the winning streak was in danger and I lost it, but I do not feel that sorry. We can start again!

"With better execution, I will improve. There's still a lot of time until Beijing."

She was not the only Olympic champion to suffer a shock defeat in Paris. Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie, looking for a world pole vault record, failed to win at the Stade de France for the first time in seven years. The Olympic gold medallist cleared only 5.71 metres to share fifth place as Greek Konstadinos Filippidis vaulted 5.91m.

In the men's 100m, former world record holder Asafa Powell ran his fastest century sprint in four years to win in 9.81 seconds.

Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut matched Francis Obikwelu's 2004 European record by finishing second in 9.86, with American Mike Rodgers third in 9.99.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2015, with the headline 'Adams' long unbeaten streak ends in Paris'. Print Edition | Subscribe