SA’s javelin queen beaming after record

“It is an amazing feeling. Wow, world number one with a new South Africa, Africa and Commonwealth record,” Viljoen said.

“It is an achievement I am really proud of because I’ve worked extremely hard for it.”

Viljoen beat world record holder Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic with a mammoth throw of 69.35m, the best heave of the season, to better her South Africa record of 68.38m which she set at last year’s World Championships in Daegu.

Her rise in the world javelin ranks has been remarkable.

The 28-year-old has improved her personal best every season since 2008, progressing seven metres over the last three years, and she was confident she can do even better.


She said she would return to South Africa in the lead-up to the London Olympic Games in July and August, having elevated her status as a serious medal contender.

“Now the hard work starts from scratch in my build-up to the Games,” she said.

“I will work even harder. It is still early in the season, and a lot still needs to happen. I will focus on my training and ensure my heart and head remain positive.”

Only four women have dropped the javelin beyond 70m, with Spotakova’s world record of 72.28m topping the list.

Spotakova, Russian world champion Mariya Abakumova and Christina Obergföll of Germany are the only three active athletes to have achieved the feat. – Sapa

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