VILJOEN WINS HER FIRST OLYMPIC MEDAL
Written by: Ndumiso Nxumalo
It’s taken four Games and 12 years for Sunette Viljoen javelin thrower to finally leave the Olympics with a silver medal around her neck after finishing behind Croatia’s Sara Kolak in the women’s javelin final on Thursday.
While disappointed not to get the gold, more than anything Viljoen was proud to have so successfully overcome the heartache of London four years ago.
That’s when she was in a medal-winning position but overtaken in the third last round and relegated to the dreaded fourth place. What made it worse was that she had thrown the furthest distance in the world that year.
“I feel so overwhelmed in the first place and also a little bit like – I was so close to the gold medal – it was right there until the end,” she said afterwards, adding that the London memories didn’t feature in the back of her mind.
“But to win a silver – I couldn’t have asked for more after London, to keep fighting for another four years and to come back and win silver,” she added.
On the track, Caster Semenya sailed through her 800m semi-final race at the Rio Olympics on Friday to cruise through to the finals. Semenya comfortably won the race with a time of 1:58:15.
With Semenya producing lifetime best performances this year‚ many believe she can easily break the 1min 53.28sec world mark. The current Olympic record is 1:53:43.
Semenya ran the fastest time in the semi-finals, followed by Great Britain’s Lynsey Sharp (1:58:65) and USA’s Kate Grace (1:58:79).
Many observers insist Semenya will add another gold to South Africa’s haul of medals when she takes to the track on Sunday morning at 2.15am.