Valerie Adams' shot put battle intensifies

The battle between defending Olympic champion Valerie Adams and Belarus rival Nadzeya Ostapchuk has intensified, with both throwers in top form over the weekend.

Ostapchuk upped the pressure on Adams with a personal best 21.39m at the Belarussian championships in Grodno, the last and best throw in an excellent series which also contained efforts of 21.32m and 21.05m.

She has been in consistent form recently, also throwing 21.13m in Minsk last month.

Adams has a best of 21.24m, set winning the world championship title in Daegu, South Korea, last August.

The Switzerland-based New Zealander constructed an impressive series of throws at a meeting in Tomblaine, France, on Monday (NZT).

Her fifth-round winning effort of 20.97m was backed up with five other throws between 20.26m and 20.62m.

Adams won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with 20.56m, beating Belarussia's Natallia Mikhnevich's second-placed 20.28 while Ostapchuk was third on 19.86m.

NZN cwa/nb

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