Sunette Viljoen (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Maggie
Malone of the US, Christina Obergfoll of Germany, Croatia's Sara Kolak
and Tatsiana Khaladovich of Belarus will arguably be among South African
Sunette Viljoen's staunchest competition, come the qualification rounds
of the women's javelin throw at the Rio Games this week.
Viljoen, effectively, has unfinished Olympic business after narrowly
missing out on a medal in London four years ago. She threw the
world-leading distance in 2012, but failed to perform up to that
standard in England.
So far this season, only Khaladovich has recorded a distance greater than that the 65.14 metres Viljoen threw in Doha in May.
The 32-year-old Viljoen faces a very competitive field though, which
also includes IAAF Diamond League javelin leader, Latvian Madara
Palameika and Australia's Kathryn Mitchell, who has shown great
consistency heading into Rio.
This will likely be Viljoen's last chance to win Olympic gold - and
she certainly possesses the potential to claim the ultimate prize, if
she performs anywhere near her best.