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Vili confirms UK Diamond League appearances

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Valerie Vili
21 May 2010 

Reigning Olympic and world champion shot putter Valerie Vili is to compete at both of Britain’s IAAF Diamond League events this summer to maintain her position as number one in the world. 

Vili, who is one of 14 IAAF Diamond League Ambassadors, will contest the shot put at the Aviva British Grand Prix held at Gateshead International Stadium on July 10 and the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on August 13 and 14.

The New Zealander, who has not competed at either event previously, has remained at the top of her sport in recent years. Olympic champion in Beijing; Vili has won a total of five world titles at senior level for indoors and outdoors, Under 18 and Under 20. 

She said: “This will be my first time competing in Gateshead and I am really looking forward to it. I have always been aware of the results in the Aviva British Grand Prix and they indicate a quality level of competition. I am certainly excited about throwing a series of decent distances.

"With the Commonwealth Games on later this season, I really look forward to competing in Commonwealth countries and there is nothing more traditional than a competition in England's North East.”  

Vili is due to return to the UK to compete at the Aviva London Grand Prix in August and will be up against a field of athletes determined to beat the best in the world. The high quality competition is likely to be repeated in the same city in two years time at the London Olympic Games.

The current stadium record at Crystal Palace is 20.79m, set back in 1995 by former World and Olympic champion Astrid Kumberness.  Vili, with a current personal best of 21.07m, will be pushing to better the record. 

She said: "What can you say about competing in London - the world's foremost two day meeting in arguably the world's most famous city. I have never competed in London before and with the Olympics only two years away it will be a great experience for me.  I am also acutely aware that Crystal Palace must have a very serious stadium record.

 “The Diamond League is an intriguing prospect and I can’t wait to get started, it represents a great opportunity for throwers and I am sure that the results will reflect our enthusiasm for this new concept."

Vili will make her IAAF Diamond League debut this weekend in Shanghai. 

The new IAAF Diamond League is an international series of 14 events, of which the Aviva London Grand Prix is the only event to have a two-day programme.

Tickets for the Aviva British Grand Prix at the Gateshead International Stadium on July 10 and for the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on August 13 and 14 are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk