Johannesburg – South Africa's javelin ace, Sunette Viljoen, had to be content with a fourth-place finish at the Diamond League athletics meeting in Birmingham, England, on Sunday.
Viljoen clung to second place in the Diamond League series standings in her event, 11 points behind Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic, and one point ahead of Russian Mariya Abakumova.
Spotakova won with a meeting record of 66.08 metres, with German Christina Obergfoll, in second (63.19m), and Ukrainian Vira Rebryk, in third (62.82m), both finishing ahead of Viljoen.
High hurdles prospect Lehann Fourie, the only other South African competing at the meeting, finished seventh in the men's 110 metres hurdles in 13.59 seconds.
Fourie, who surprised himself by my making the Olympic final earlier this month, could not get close to the personal best time of 13.28 he posted in the semi-finals at the Games.
He seemed to struggle with his rhythm as he clipped a couple of hurdles on his way to the finish at the weekend.
The race was almost a repeat of the Olympic final as six of the athletes in the field were among the last eight at the global showpiece.
Olympic gold medallist Aries Merritt continued his fine form this season, beating fellow American Jason Richardson by 0.03 seconds in a time of 12.98.
David Oliver, also from the US, finished third, clocking a time of 13.28.
The penultimate leg of 14 stops in this season's Diamond League series will be held in Zurich, Switzerland, on Thursday. – Sapa