Tokyo Olympics 2021: More gold in Dame Valerie Adams' future, says new coach Dale Stevenson

Just nine months out from the Tokyo Olympics, Dame Valerie Adams has sought a change of scenery and a change of coach. 

On Wednesday, the two-time Olympic gold medallist announced she will relocate her training base to Christchurch to work with Dale Stevenson, who also coaches former Kiwi world shot put champ Tom Walsh. 

Stevenson is confident that the 36-year-old has one more medal in her.

"I wouldn't have taken on this project if I didn't think that was the case," Stevenson tells Newshub. "Absolutely."

Dame Valerie took to social media to make the announcement, saying: "I need to step out of my comfort zone and shake things up a bit to enable me to be the best version of myself in Tokyo".

That means leaving her family and moving her training base Nga Puna Wai in Christchurch for three out of every four weeks.

"To be prepared to move down here and train out of Christchurch as her training base, away from her family and support networks in Auckland, is an affirmation that she's in it for the right reasons," Stevenson adds.

The decision has also been endorsed by former coach and Athletics NZ high performance director Scott Goodman, who believes the link up with Walsh will benefit both parties.

"Dale's a young, full-time coach," says Goodman. "He's quite extraordinary, and I think it's a good decision and will give Val the best chance to be successful in Tokyo."

Stevenson is well aware of the task at hand.

"She's handed over the reins to a pretty powerful sleigh, so it's my job to meet that with a level of expertise," he says.

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