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Sunette aims to shine

By Mark Etheridge

Continental javelin champion and record-holder Sunette Viljoen is the sole competitor flying the South African flag in Zurich at Thursday night’s Weltklasse meeting, the first of two IAAF Diamond League track and field finals.┬á

Thursday’s competition and next week’s final meeting in Brussels, Belgium both serve as finals of the Diamond League series with competitors in the Diamond Race earning double points in these meetings.

┬áViljoen should have no problem in motivating herself for Thursday night’s competition. She missed out on the last Diamond League meeting in London due to bureauratic bungling and will be looking to prove a point with her projectile this time out.

┬áSpeaking from London, Viljoen said on Thursday: ÔÇ£Tonight is big, a real final, almost like worlds or Olympics; I’m little bit nervous, but more excited, because I have done the hard yards.ÔÇØ

 Viljoen had earlier told Beeld that as soon as her legs and upper body got into perfect synchronisation she had no doubt that there was a big throw just waiting to explode.

┬áCurrently lying third in the Diamond Race, the fact that she missed London means she’s unable to catch series leader Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic, who she has beaten twice already this season.┬á

┬áSpotakova, still nursing a troublesome elbow, is certainly still not unbeatable and Viljoen would like nothing better than to end her Diamond League campaign with victory. Thursday night is the last Diamond League event of the year to feature the women’s javelin.

┬áIt’s a tough ask though to win, or even get on the podium for that matter. Apart from Spotakova’s season-leading 68.66 metre throw, four of the eight-strong field have thrown further than her this season. Her best is the 66.38 she threw to beat Spotakova in her own backyard in Prague earlier this season.

 Khotso Mokoena was originally another South African on the provisional entry list for tonight but the African long jump champion has since withdrawn.

 World 800m champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Commonwealth/African 400m hurdles champion LJ van Zyl could both line up in Brussels next week. Mulaudzi withdrew after the heats of the African championships with injury while Van Zyl is back home and training hard after a below-par race in London last week.


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