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LetsRun.com's 2009 IAAF Berlin World Championships Preview

Women's Shot and Discus - Valerie Vili and Stephanie Brown-Trafton Look For World Gold Following Olympic Triumphs

By LetsRun.com
August, 2009

When: Shot Put August 16; Discus August 21
*LRC's World Championship Prediction Contest
*LRC WC Previews/Results/Recaps By Event
*LRC WC Previews/Results/Recaps By Day
IAAF Worlds Page

New Zealander Valerie Vili is one of the most dominant throwers on earth, winning the 2007 World Championships, the 2008 World Indoor Championships and Olympics, and also the 2006 Commonwealth Games. After talking about leaving NZ for Great Britain for more sports funding, Vili has recently decided to remain a Kiwi national after they ponied up some more financial support.

Vili sits at the world #1 both in ranking and in performance. Behind her seasonal best 20.69 are Anna Avdeeva of Russia and 2008 Olympic runner-up Natallia Mikhnevich of Belarus. Given the performance-enhancing drugs reputation of Eastern European throwers, it's hard not to pull for Vili.

In the discus, an event which normally will receive virtually zero attention in the US, Stephanie Brown-Trafton is the favorite after her surprise Olympic victory in 2008. Competing a full schedule in 2009, Brown-Trafton has been on top of the world standings all year.

She now has more company. Russian Natalya Sadova is the 2004 Olympic champion and is still throwing well 10 years after her 70.02m throw in 1999. Brown-Trafton's world leader for 2009 is 13 feet behind that incredible performance.

China's Song Aimin is hot on their heels. The 2008 Olympic 4th-placer is about 2 meters behind Trafton on the world leader board, but all it takes is one big throw, as Brown-Trafton displayed last year.

The women's throwing events don't usually garner much attention, but the performances of Vili and Brown-Trafton deserve some mention as we head into the championships.




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