Monday, August 27, 2007
Kiwi Island girl winner of shotput at Osaka
Congratulations girl! Wonderful achievement for Valerie Vili, married to Bertrand Vili, New Caledonian discus thrower. We've been watching the events on TV tonight from the World Athletic titles at Osaka and were very happy to see this girl from New Zealand do so well. From a childhood of teasing because of her height and weight, she took up field events in athletics and has never looked back.
bits and pieces from the web about Valerie Vili.
2007 World Championships
In 2007, Vili went to the Osaka World Championships as a favourite to take a medal, as one of only two women to throw over 20 m before the championships. In qualifying, Vili led with a throw of 19.45 m. Vili held second place throughout the final, behind Nadzeya Ostapchuk, but responded well in the last round with a mammoth throw and Commonwealth record of 20.54 m, to take the gold.This made Vili only the second athlete ever to take IAAF World Titles at youth, junior and senior level (after Australia's Jana Pittman).
Vili’s steady rise - From reluctant beginnings, to World champion
Osaka, Japan - The first thing that Valerie Vili did after it was confirmed that her last attempt in the shot had moved her from second to first, snatching the title from defending champion, Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus, was to dance, arms aloft across the track to a television camera, and mouth, “I love you mum and dad.” It was a message that had to travel somewhat further than Vili’s homeland of New Zealand. As she explained at the press conference, “This was dedicated to my late mum and dad, my dad died recently, and my mum died just before the Sydney Olympics.”
Vili, 22 was a reluctant shot putter. As she puts it plainly, “I was the biggest kid in the school, back home in Auckland, and got thrown into it when I was 13. The teachers said to do it, and I did it. When I started breaking schools records, I got into it. And when my mum died when I was 15, it helped me cope with it, and got me through it.”
“It feels absolutely marvelous (to win),” she said. “Before the sixth attempt, my coach (former Commonwealth javelin silver medallist, Kirsten Hellier) told me, ‘You’ve got one more throw to prove yourself, where you come from, who you are. Do it for your father’. I didn’t know what it felt like to win a World title and now I know. The celebrations I had here in the stadium were just amazing. I just can’t wait to see my coach, my husband and the people who supported me”.
2001 Gold Medal World Youth Championships Debrecen
2002 Gold Medal World Junior Championships Kingston
Silver Medal Commonwealth Games Manchester
6th World Cup Madrid
2003 5th World Championships Paris
2004 8th Olympic Games Athens
2005 Bronze Medal World Championships Helsinki
2nd World Athletics Final Monaco
2006 Gold Medal Commonwealth Games Melbourne
2nd World Athletics Final Stuttgart
Prepared by Murray Taylor for the IAAF “Focus on Athletes” project. © IAAF 2006.
A funny thing happened on the way.... We were watching the men's hammer throw and as happens sometimes, the thrower misjudges and the hammer hits the wire cage instead of flying out. This time, the hammer went right through breaking the wire! So I guess the hammer can't proceed until it's fixed! My youngest son has spent several years in jav, discus, hammer, and shotput, so we especially watch out for field events.