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- ASA launches new four-meeting track and field series
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Viljoen into javelin final with just one big throw in Beijing
- Updated: August 28, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
Sunette Viljoen spearheaded South Africa’s bid for a third medal at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China on Friday.
The women’s javelin qualification rounds needed a distance of 63.50 metres to secure automatic progress to the final.
Cometh the hour cometh the woman and Viljoen needed a single throw to seal her spot in the final with an excellent 63.93m effort with her very first throw.
That was her afternoon done and dusted and she will contest the final as the third best distance with American Brittany Borman’s 64.22 and Germany’s Christina Obergfoll 64.10 bettering her distance.
Significant though was that Viljoen did it with her first throw, the other two had to wait for their third and final chance. Her best this year is 66.62 in Melbourne, Australia back in March.
Earlier in the championships, Wayde van Niekerk won 400m gold and Anaso Jobodwana bronze in the 200m final.
In track action South Africa’s only medallist at the last World Championships in Moscow, Russia two years ago, Johan Cronje failed to make the final of the 1500m.
He got bronze in Russia but must have been mighty peeved after missing out on the final.
The first five in each of the two heats went through and he ended eighth in 3min 36.79sec. The next five fastest of the semis went through as well and with Cronje’s heat being much faster it saw the first five of the second final causing through even though times were so much slower.
It meant he was the first man to miss out on the final!
The decathlon also didn’t have good news for South Africa as Olympian Willem Coertzen was forced to withdraw with no official reason forthcoming.
The Potchefstroom based athlete came through the 100m, long jump, shot put and high jump but failed to start the 400m. His four efforts were 10.98sec (a season’s best), 7.25, 13.95sec and 1.95m.
He was lying 22nd after the four events. Earlier this year he had injured his chest after a freak gym injury saw a bar of weights come crashing down on him.
Saturday sees Olympian Marc Mundell taking on the 50km walk and the men’s 4x100m relay.
Anaso Jobodwana, 200m bronze medallist, 100m semi-finalists Akani Simbine and Henricho Bruintjies and 110m hurdler Antonio Alkana look set to do the job in the heats.