Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
29 Jul 2017
10:23 am

Sunette Viljoen out of world champs 

Wesley Botton

She is struggling with a back injury.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Sunette Viljoen of South Africa competes during the Women's Javelin Throw Qualifying Round on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen has pulled out of the IAAF World Championships in London next week with a back injury.

“The most difficult decision I’ve had to make is to withdraw from @London2017,” Viljoen posted on social media.

Though she was ranked 15th in the world this year with a 63.49m season’s best – nearly six minutes short of her national record set in New York in June 2012 – Viljoen was one of the most experienced and consistent members of the 29-member South African team.

The Olympic silver medallist earned bronze medals at the World Championships in Daegu in 2011 and again in Beijing two years ago.

Had she competed in London, it would have been her sixth appearance at the biennial global championships.

Her management team confirmed that Viljoen would be out for the rest of the season, though it was not believed to be a career-ending injury, and she was likely to return to action in 2018.

“An injury leaves me no choice [but to withdraw]. Believe me, I’ll be back,” Viljoen said.