Viljoen, Olivier impress with third spots in Rome | SASCOC - SASCOC
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Viljoen, Olivier impress with third spots in Rome

Our London Olympians Sunette Viljoen and Andre Olivier both nailed down second qualifying efforts for the World Championships in Moscow later this year, writes Mark Etheridge.

Both of them had season’s best performances and both secured third spots in the javelin and 800m events at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome.

Viljoen, the current Commonwealth Games champion, came up with a throw of 64.39 metres which was 2.49m further than the A-Standard qualifier for World Championships.

That came on top of her 63m hurl at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon a week ago.

On that occasion, like Thursday night, her effort was good enough to secure third spot.

And again it was Germany’s Christine Obergfoll who won the event. In Eugene she won with 67.70 and in Rome she was slightly shorter with 66.45m. Reigning world champion Mariya Abakumova secured silver with a n effort of 64.03m.

At least year’s corresponding meeting Viljoen pegged the spear at an impressive 67.95 which would have been good for a win on Thursday.

Back to Olivier and the North West athlete had a storming race to clock 1:44.37. That was comfortably quicker than his season-opening 1:44.74 that he ran in Belgium last week and means he has now qualified twice for World Championships later this year.

Race winner was Mohammed Aman in Ethiopia with a 1:43.61 ahead of France’s Pierre-Ambroise Bosse (1:43.91).

Speaking to Road to Rio 2016, Olivier said: “It wasn’t a bad time but it was a very crowded race, with a lot of quality runners in one field,,

“For the whole third 200m it was a case of stop-go, stop-go but that’s what you are going to get in races like that. The last 100m felt good and I think I could have been in a better position to stride and maybe get second, but I can’t complain, now its just back to basics and tomorrow is Hengelo!

“Even though it was very difficult getting any rhythm going, it’s a good sign and if I can get a race where I’m free to run I’ll go under 1:44 ÔÇô I know it. The legs are good though. I went for a nice jog this morning with some strides and I’m ready to race.”

The Netherlands meeting will feature 1500m aces Johan Cronje and Juan van Deventer with the latter still aiming to run down a World Championships qualifying time. Also there will be Olympian Stephen Mokoka in the 10,000m.


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