International Track Meet Christchurch 2012Sports Christchurch, New Zealand - 04 February 2012
World and Olympic Women's Shotput champion Valerie Adams, World Junior Shotput Champion Jacko Gill and Olympic 1500m Silver Medallist Nick Willis competed today in the Christchurch International Track meet in Christchurch, held at Christ College. The unusual venue was due to the Canterbury Earthquakes in the last year having destroyed much of the Christchurch infrastructure, including the main athletics and swimming venue of QEII park. The races were held on a smaller than usual grass surface, which proved an interesting challenge for the runners. A crowd of over 3,000 followed the day's events.
A 2 mile handicap was the feature race of the day, with Nick Willis and some of his training partners, including Will Leer (US), Lee Emmanuel (UK) and Brandon Bethke participating. Lee Emmanuel dropped out after being the pace-setter for much of the race for Nick Willis and Will Leer, with Will Leer eventually leading home Nick Willis, Andrew Davidson and Brandon Bethke.
Another feature was the open shotput competition featuring both Valerie Adams and Jacko Gill. Each used their normal throwing weight shot, with Jacko Gill throwing the best throw of the day with a put of 22.06m leading Valerie Adams best of 20.35m.
Valerie, Nick and other competitors were keen to stress that they were competing in Christchurch to show support to the people here who had suffered so much due to the earthquakes that had devastated Christchurch. Nick and Will Leer were both keen to stress that they were particularly keen to participate in future events, due to the unique nature of the events and also being able to take advantage of the unique opportunities available due to lifestyle opportunities, such as visiting New Zealand tourist hotspots and participating in recreational activities available here.