It was a historic success for Christina Schwanitz: For the first time in her career she defeated the reigning world and Olympic champion Valerie Adams. For the New Zealander thus ended in Paris a huge series of 56 consecutive wins.
For ten years, Christina Schwanitz had to wait for this moment. And for the rest of the shot put world ended on Saturday evening at the Stade de France one of the longest series of athletics history. At the Diamond League meeting in Paris, the European champion defeated for the first time in her career, the reigning world and Olympic champion Valerie Adams.
Christina Schwanitz superiorly won with 20.31m, the New Zealander was only knocked off fifth (18.79m). For Valerie Adams was also the first defeat after 56 victories in a row.
“This victory is very important for me,” Schwanitz said afterwards. One could also say: It was another milestone in her career.
Chase started in 2013
In 2009 at the World Championships in Berlin both athletes were split into two sporting worlds: Adams won in the Olympic Stadium one of four World Champion titles to date, Schwanitz was only twelfth.
But since her victory at the European Indoor Championships in 2013 in Gothenburg (Sweden), the 29-year-old got closer to the dominant athlete of last years. In the same year, she won silver at the World Championships in Moscow (Russia) in 2014 and was followed by the triumph at the outdoor European Championships in Zurich (Switzerland).
“Big respect” for the series winner
This year Christina Schwanitz leads the Diamond League race with a big headstart – only one victory in a direct duel with Adams she missing after 28 failed attempts. “I have a huge respect for her-” she said in Paris. “That is why today I was very nervous, my technique was far from being perfect.”
Nevertheless, Schwanitz gets three attempts over 20 meters while Adams and the runner-up Chinese Lijiao Gong (19.75 m) did not make a single of them. The explanation: Adams did her first competition since her persistent elbow injury – and took her defeat therefore also very sporty. “I am happy that I am back. I now took a risk and knew my series is in danger. Therefore, I am not disappointed,” she said.
“Special competition” at the World Cup
Schwanitz is therefore in top shape, Adams is fighting to close the gap: The big question is what does this mean for the upcoming world championships in Beijing (China, August 22 to 30). Nothing, says the New Zealander out of her whole experience. “Until Beijing, I have enough time.”
Usually, Schwanitz is up for some spicy comments but still it seem she has a lot of respect for Valerie Adams. “I expect Valerie back in August at her best,” she said. “She will continue to improve and Lijiao Gong has an advantage due to the World Championships taking place on home soil. This will be a very special competition!”
Source: leichtathletik.de by Silke Morrissey