20 Dec 2007

New Zealand born Tongan athlete wins prestigous award

9:34 am on 20 December 2007

World shot put champion Valerie Vili has been awarded the Lonsdale Cup for the second consecutive year.

The Cup is the New Zealand Olympic Committee's most prestigious award and goes to the athlete who has made the most outstanding contribution to an Olympic or Commonwealth Sport each year.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee selected Vili after she secured the World Title in Osaka earlier this year with a New Zealand record-breaking throw of 20.54m.

Vili was also awarded the Lonsdale Cup in 2006 in the wake of three major wins at international events and a Commonwealth Games gold medal.

Last night in her first New Zealand outing since her world championship success, Vili won her event at the John Walker Night of Miles meeting at Mt Smart Stadium with a throw of 19.24 metres which she describes as her best ever after coming back from a long break.