Report28 Aug 2021


Paralympic gold for Adams continues family's shot put success

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Lisa Adams competes in the women's F37 shot put final at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games (© Getty Images)

New Zealand’s Lisa Adams has completed an impressive shot put medal double for her family in Tokyo, winning the Paralympic title four weeks after her sister and coach Valerie – the multiple global gold medallist – claimed Olympic bronze.

Breaking the Paralympic record a total of four times, Lisa eventually triumphed with a best of 15.12m, which she achieved in both the fifth and sixth rounds of the women’s F37 shot put final on Saturday (28).

“It’s a euphoric feeling,” Lisa told Athletics New Zealand. “Happy, relief, proud. Very emotional.”

That emotion could be seen as she celebrated her win with her sister, with Valerie – the two-time Olympic and four-time world shot put champion – watching in the stands of the stadium where she had won her fourth Olympic medal in a competition won by Lijiao Gong.


“Getting to hug her straight after the competition was so emotional, but embracing her was so special to me,” Lisa told World Para Athletics.

“Who would have thought? I’ve only been doing this for three years but far out, I get to come and have a little taste of her world. It is so special.

“To have her coaching me, and trying to absorb everything I can from her, I’ll cherish it forever.”

Lisa had first joined Valerie in becoming a global shot put gold medallist when she won at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai – her debut international competition. Before that the 30-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, played rugby but her decision to switch to athletics has clearly paid off and she is also the world record-holder with a best of 15.50m.

“Just reflecting over the last three years of work and choices, sacrifices, setbacks and growth was a biggie,” Lisa said as she told Athletics New Zealand about her moment on the podium. “Just reflecting on all of that and taking in that moment. We did this – the anthem’s playing for us – and just thinking of how proud I am, how much I wanted to do this for me and my son. How special it’s been to be on this journey with my sister, just all of it.”


After the competition, Valerie – fresh from throwing in her fifth Olympic Games where she became the first woman to win four Olympic medals in a single field event – took to social media to write: “Proud of you my sister. Paralympic champion and record-holder.”