28 Mar 2010

Valerie Vili breaks with long-time coach Kirsten Hellier

6:36 pm on 28 March 2010

After 11 years of success together, New Zealand's world and Olympic champion shot putter Valerie Vili has split with her long-time coach Kirsten Hellier.

Vili made the announcement at an emotional press conference in Auckland this afternoon.

Wiping away tears, Vili said it was "like a divorce", but it was a mutual decision she and Hellier made last week and they'll remain friends.

Vili said that losing her crown at the world indoors in Doha earlier this month played no part in the split, which has been building for a while.

She denied there's a rift, saying there's no one incident behind her split with Hellier and she's more motivated than ever after Doha.

Vili said it's amazing what they've achieved together but she has more to achieve and that's why they've reached this decision together.

Vili's now taking a week off, leaving the decision over her new coach to management.

Vili has no idea who it will be.