Dame Valerie Adams selected for fifth Olympics as NZ names athletics squad for Toyko

Set to make her fifth Olympic Games appearance, Dame Valerie Adams is among 15 athletes conditionally selected in the New Zealand athletics team for the 2020 Tokyo games.

Dame Valerie Adams of New Zealand celebrates after winning silver at the Women's Shot Put Final. Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Athletics, Carrara Stadium, Gold Coast, Australia. Source: Photosport

In February, the 36-year-old Adams took out the Sir Graeme Douglas International Meet in Auckland with an unbeaten 19.95m shot, a personal best since having her two children.

Adams says she will be going into the 2020 Games with a new source of motivation. 

“This will be my fifth games, but my first Olympics as a mother, and I really just want to get out there and make my children, Kimoana and Kepaleli, and my nation proud,” Adams said.

Several other Olympic returnees have been named in the squad with middle distance runner and two-time Olympic medallist Nick Willis among the high-profile names.

2016 Bronze medallist Tom Walsh also features in the line-up, adding to the Kiwi shotputting hopes along with Auckland's Jacko Gill.

Accompanying the wealth of experience is a considerable showing of new talent. 

19-year-old discus thrower Connor Bell joins the side along with several other first time Olympians.

The initial athletics team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games is:

  • Dame Valerie Adams, shot put 
  • Connor Bell, discus
  • Lauren Bruce, hammer 
  • Camille Buscomb, 5000m/10,000m
  • Jacko Gill, shot put 
  • Malcolm Hicks, marathon 
  • Hamish Kerr, high jump 
  • Tori Peeters, javelin 
  • Julia Ratcliffe, hammer 
  • Quentin Rew, 50km race walk
  • Zane Robertson, marathon 
  • Sam Tanner, 1500m
  • Tom Walsh, shot put 
  • Maddison-Lee Wesche, shot put 
  • Nick Willis, 1500m