VILJOEN Sunette < Back  
Sport Athletics
CGA South Africa   
Gender Women
Born 06 Oct 1983 in Johannesburg, SAF
Height1.70 m
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Family Partner LiMari Louw, son Henre [2005]
Residence Stellenbosch, RSA
Occupation Athlete, Coach
Languages Afrikaans, English
Higher education Education, Sports and Recreation, Sports Management - North-West University: Potchefstroom, RSA
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She took up the javelin at age 16.
Why this sport? She preferred to run the 400m, but her school headmaster was impressed by her strong arm when throwing a cricket ball and told a teacher to begin coaching her in javelin.
General Interest
Hero / Idol Czech javelin thrower Jan Zelezny. (IAAF, 22 Jul 2009)
Injuries She sustained a lower back injury shortly after the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro that continued to affect her over the next three years. She missed the 2017 World Championships in London, England, due to the injury. (, 28 Jun 2020;, 22 May 2020)

In early 2012 she missed four weeks of training because of a back injury. (, 27 Apr 2012)
Sporting philosophy / motto "I like to get out what I put in. All the heartaches, the disappointments, the failures, the victories you have on yourself. That's what I enjoy with the javelin, stand there and throw to the best of my abilities." (, 28 Jun 2020)
Other sports She played cricket for South Africa, competing in one test match and 27 one-day internationals. At age 17 she became the youngest female cricketer to represent South Africa internationally. (, 28 Jun 2020; IAAF, 22 Jul 2009;, 22 Mar 2002)
Famous relatives Her father Danie [400m hurdles], mother Sunette [netball] and brother Drikes [indoor cricket] have all competed at provincial level in South Africa. Her partner LiMari Louw is a TV presenter in South Africa. (, 07 Feb 2020;, 09 Dec 2002)
Ambitions To win gold at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, to win gold at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, OR, United States of America, and to throw 70m. (, 15 Sep 2020;, 28 Jun 2020)
She does not believe her age is a factor in competition. "I always get mentioned in newspapers, I am the 35-year-old javelin thrower or whatever, the veteran. I don't know why my age has to be mentioned. I don't know why age has to be mentioned every time, if you are good you are good, healthy, strong, it doesn't matter how old or how young you are. You can do it until you are [age] 100. I get up with fire and passion for javelin. I want to still achieve more things and be great at what I do. I never thought my career would be so long. There is nothing so nice for me to see than the javelin fly through the air." (, 28 Jun 2020)

She excelled as a bowler in cricket and this was a factor in her transition to javelin. "I always had a really fast arm. When I went to university, I had to leave cricket which has always been one of my first loves, but I think I am more of an individual sports player. When you are in a team environment you always can hide away behind people." Speaking in 2020, she said she was aiming to return to cricket after her athletics career. "Once I have retired as an athlete, the aim will be to try and play for the South African women's cricket team again. I recently faced a few balls in the cricket nets at Jeffreys Bay [South Africa]. It made me realise how much I miss playing cricket." (, 15 Sep 2020;, 28 Jun 2020)

She coaches at Bloemhof High School in Stellenbosch, South Africa, and she has started an athletics academy for children ages six to 10 in South Africa. "I really want to make a difference in the lives of kids. It is my passion. That is why once a week, I intend to go to the more impoverished communities in the Western Cape to 'jol' [have fun] with the kids." (, 15 Sep 2020)