17 Aug 2009

Part Tongan Valerie Vili retains world title

10:18 am on 17 August 2009

New Zealand's Valerie Vili has retained her shot put title at the world athletics championships in Berlin Germany.

The 24-year-old part Tongan Olympic champion had a best mark of 20.44 metres with Nadine Kleinert of Germany taking silver, 20.20m and China's Lijao Gong taking bronze with 19.89m.

Vili had to pull out all the stops to retain the title as her two fellow medallists produced personal bests and at one point she was down in fifth place.

But she showed her champion's credentials when she produced a superb effort of 20.25m in the third round, overtaking Kleinert, who had already thrown a personal best of 20.06m, and Lijao.

Kleinert, though, drew on her reserves and the adrenalin of performing in front of her home crowd to throw another personal best of 20.20m, also on her third effort, pumping the air in delight.