Olympic and World Champion shot putter takes gold in Germany with a throw of 20.44m

Berlin, 17 August 2009 – Rio 2016 supporter Valerie Vili has won the shot put world title at the IAAF World Championships. The New Zealander won the gold medal in the Berlin Olympic Stadium on Sunday 16 August 2009, retaining the world title she won at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka.

Vili is already well-known to the Brazilian public after winning the Rio Athletics Grand Prix in May 2009 and giving strong support to Rio de Janeiro’s candidature to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games a few days later.

After winning the Rio Athletics Grand Prix with a throw of 20.69m – the best mark in the world in 2009 and a new Oceania record – Vili was emphatic in her belief that holding the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro would be a unique experience for athletes.

She praised the João Havelange Stadium, the proposed venue for track and field events in the Rio 2016 project.
“It’s a sensational stadium, with a wonderful atmosphere. It’s perfect for bringing out the best in athletes. Rio de Janeiro is a colorful city with wonderful people. Competing in the Olympic Games in a place like that would be a unique experience for athletes from all over the planet,” she said.

At the 2009 IAAF World Championships, Vili won the shot put gold medal with a throw of 20.44m, finishing on top of the podium ahead of German Nadine Kleinert (silver, 20.20m) and Chinese Lijiao Gong (bronze, 19.89m).

A year after her first World Championship title in 2007, Valerie won the gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games with a throw of 20.56 m.

For more information:
Saint-Clair Milesi
saintclair.milesi@rio2016.org.br Tel: +55.21.8121.4559