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Athletics award for medallist Adams

Thursday 27 Dec 2012 5:21 p.m.

Valerie Adams (Reuters)

Valerie Adams (Reuters)

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New Zealander Valerie Adams has become the first thrower in 32 years to win Track and Field News' women's athlete of the year award.

The prestigious American athletics publication says Adams claimed 17 of the 35 votes for the No.1 spot, heading off British heptathlete Jessica Ennis by 21 points and American sprinter Allyson Felix by 26.

Adams won back-to-back Olympic titles in 2008 and 2012, initially finishing second behind Nadzeya Ostapchuk in London earlier this year. However, the Belarus thrower was stripped of the gold medal after testing positive to a banned substance.

Adams becomes the first thrower to win the award since East Germany's Ilona Slupianek in 1980 after winning all 14 of her competitions in 2012, and recording the 16 longest throws of the year.

The Switzerland-based thrower was also nominated for the International Association of Athletic Federations' women's athlete of the year, losing out to Felix for the award last month.

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