Athletics: Dame Valerie Adams desperate to face world-class competition after record-equalling 17th national shot put title

A frustrated Dame Valerie Adams is desperate to face some world-class competition ahead of what's likely to be her career swansong at this year's Tokyo Olympics.

The two-time gold medallist won a record-equalling 17th national shot put title on Friday, but wasn't happy with the way she did it.

If Adams is to claim a third Olympic title, she knows she needs to be pushed harder if she wants to be on the top step in Japan.

"I definitely performed better than this in training, so I'm annoyed at myself," Adams says.   

Her winning throw was less than a metre below her season's best that came in Auckland last month. 

"It's very difficult," she says. "You're really trying to push yourself and throw far against yourself."

Adams wasn't hiding her frustration at a lack of overseas competition to ensure she's Tokyo-ready.

"I'm used to going away and getting girls to push you," she bemoans. "Putting yourself in a vulnerable position." 

The 36-year old was far too good for her competition on Friday as she watched on with some envy this summer as the men's duo of Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill have gone head-to-head.

"Jacko [Gill] and Tom [Walsh] have great competition towards each other. But in the women's event, it's not so strong."

The competition has clearly worked for Walsh as he recorded a season-best on Friday evening. 

His next step - like Adams - is to head overseas and face some of the world's top-ranked throwers.

"For my job, I need to compete against the best guys in the world to be the best," Walsh says. "That means I have to travel overseas."

A COVID-19 vaccine is part of the picture for both Walsh and Adams, although the latter needs to lock in competitive meets offshore as soon as possible.

"It's all dependent on what the world is doing and where we are able to go," Adams says. "But we are hoping for the best and that it is to go away."

It could be key to claiming another gold medal.

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