And counting. The improbably-long winning streak of Valerie Adams was already under way when the last Commonwealth Games began. The tremors would be felt back in her native New Zealand if Glasgow were to witness a shock end to her era of shot putting impregnability.

And from an athlete who makes Usain Bolt and Mo Farah seem like occasional achievers comes an advisory that, despite a list of titles that few have matched, the fire to maintain the monopoly still burns within. "The passion is still there," she says.

"We train every day to win. Who doesn't want to win? Somebody asked me if I'm sick of winning. If I was, I'd have quit already."

When the athletics competition begins next weekend at Hampden, the name of the 29-year-old will not resonate as widely as her peers. It is a grave injustice. Adams' undefeated spell aside, an impressive haul of two Olympic golds, seven world crowns and successive Commonwealth victories merits wide recognition.

The sorry truth is that throwing events do not draw the biggest crowds. On television, they are banished to the fringes, their drama deemed of less importance than the ramblings of the talking heads. Kiwis, stranded in the corner of the global map, are already infused with extra motivation to corral a sliver of attention. Adams, to later advantage, had an early introduction to the art of self-elevation.

Growing up in the rough environs of Rotorua to a Tongan mother and British father, it was the former, Lilika, who held sway. "The only person I had as a pin-up was my mum, who's the most amazing person I've ever had in my life. She passed away when I was 15. She's always been my hero and my focus."

Her father, Sid Adams, was a more fluid force, a former Merchant Navy seaman from Bristol who reputedly served jail time for jumping ship at the Bay of Plenty before marrying a local woman. He was a tall man, a genetic trait which his offspring would inherit. Some say he had 18 children, some 21, via various partners. Of those identified, the average height of the males is 6ft 9ins. For females it is 6ft, with Valerie four inches taller.

Unsurprisingly, six have played basketball for the Tall Blacks, most notably Steven, currently a centre for the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder. Growing up amid such an imposing group, he recounts, you had to stand up to survive. "My family is really strong. So getting hit by them is really painful. But you can't say something about it, especially being the youngest. If you're the youngest and you say something, you'll get more hits."

Valerie, eight years his senior, was always among the toughest, he confirmed. Tough enough that she took Commonwealth silver at the age of 17, just weeks after claiming the world junior title in Jamaica. It was an ideal stepping stone. With the latest edition of the competition starting today in Oregon, her counsel is to soak up the experience.

"With the qualifying and the whole schedule and the rest if it, it's pretty much the same at senior level. It's great for those young athletes, who want to carry on at track and field to get that. It was the same with the Commonwealth Games."

The thirst for triumph has barely relented since. Even with a troublesome shoulder, she has relentlessly maintained her push this season. Pilates has become the newest introduction into the controlled regime at her Swiss base. "I'm just trying to keep the engine running as best I can," she says. "Anything I can do right now to prolong my career, I'm doing it."

To Rio, at least, she vows. A third Olympic victory there, you sense, would erase the irritation of London 2012 when it seemed she had been vanquished by Nadzeya Ostapchuk, only for the Belarusian to subsequently test positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

However, the world record, she expects, will never be hers. Extended to 22.63m by Natalya Lisovskaya in 1987, it seems a relic of the Soviet doping era. "Unfortunately it's one of those that's in the books and will be for a very long time," says Adams. "No-one's thrown 22 metres for a very long time. If you throw 21 metres, even 20 today, that's pretty amazing. But you can't do much about it."

Instead, in Glasgow and beyond, the hunger will be satiated from throwing long. And from extending her dominance. "My job is to continue to be the best," she says. "One day it will come to an end. But for now I will push and fight like a crazy Tongan woman until the end."