There was a surprise for Valerie Adams after her victory in the women's shot put at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix yesterday. Asked how she felt about setting a stadium record, the big New Zealander replied: "Oh, thanks. I didn't even know I got that."
Adams' opening put was 20.52m. The stadium record stood at 20.27m. It was set back in 1985 by Ines Muller, a member of the world-beating East German women's track and field team that was found to have been fuelled by more than natural talent when Stasi files documenting a state-administered steroid regime were unearthed after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The irony will not be lost on Adams. The 27-year-old Kiwi was one of 17 London Olympic champions in action in the IAAF Diamond League meeting but the only one still waiting for a gold medal.
Adams finished second to Nadzeya Ostapchuk in the Olympic final three weeks ago but was upgraded to first place a week later when it was announced that her Belarusian rival had tested positive for the anabolic agent metenolone.
Two weeks farther down the line, she has no idea when she will get the gold to match the one she won in Beijing in 2008.
"I won't be happy until I get my hands on it," Adams said. "I handed the silver medal back to the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne last Thursday and I'm hoping and praying that I will get the gold at the Diamond League meeting in Zurich this Thursday."
When the Kenyan middle distance runner Asbel Kiprop was promoted from first to second in the 1500m result at the Beijing Olympics after Rashid Ramzi failed a drugs test he had to wait two and a half years to get the gold medal. The presentation took place in the function room of a Nairobi hotel.
"I don't think that kind of thing is going to happen to me," Adams said. "I come from a very small country and we appreciate every gold medal we get at an Olympic Games. My dream is to have it presented in an athletics stadium."
There has been talk of staging the ceremony at a rugby stadium to coincide with an All Blacks match – possibly even at Twickenham on 1 December. That would make it a home from home occasion for the Adams family. "My father, Sidney, is English," she said. "He's from Bristol."
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- East Germany
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- Performance-Enhancing Drugs