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Medal hope Sunette downed but not out

By Mark Etheridge in London

Olympic glory proved a bridge too far for our Commonwealth Games javelin gold medallist, Sunette Viljoen in London on Thursday.

Going into the Games as the world’s best thrower this year, Viljoen had a 69.35-metre monster behind her name, thrown at the Diamond League in New York earlier this year.

She opened promisingly enough with a 64.53m effort but it went downhill from there and her next three efforts were 62.71, 57.30 and 57.05 before she improved that with a 60.93 with her penultimate effort.

In the meantime Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova, Christina Obergfoll and Linda Stahl had all overtaken her.

Viljoen’s final effort pegged at 62.61 which saw her ending 38 centimetres outside a podium finish.

And while there were tears of joy earlier in the day for bronze medal-winning canoeist Bridgitte Hartley there were tears of sheer frustration for Viljoen.

“I did my best… it was just a bad day,” she said. “I tried my hardest and I will still leave with my head held high.

“If it’s not your day, its not your day. I just didn’t have the distance. But it’s not over. I have Diamond League meetings in Lausanne and Birmingham and will just try my best there.”


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