Former South Africa women allrounder Sunnette Viljoen, who played one Test and 17 ODIs for the Proteas between 2000 and 2002, created history on Thursday by becoming the first international cricketer to win an Olympics medal in 96 years. The former cricketer won a silver medal in the Women’s Javelin Throw final in the athletic event of the Rio Olympics.
The 33-year old’s throw of 64.92 metres was bettered only by Croatia’s Sara Kolak who threw the javelin to a distance of 66.18 metres to win the gold. Viljoen’s medal was the ninth for South Africa who are currently placed 34th overall with one gold, six silvers and two bronze medals.
In her last Olympics that is in London, she had come agonisingly close to winning a medal. However, see finished fourth with a best throw of 64.53 metres, behind Germany’s Linda Stahl, who finished third with 64.91 to win the bronze medal.
Viljoen played her only Test against India in March 2002 in Paarl, scoring 17 and 71. She had made her ODI debut in 2000 and finished her ODI career two years later with 198 runs and five wickets.
The last international cricketer who achieved this incredible feat is Jack MacBryan, who featured in 1 Test for England and won gold in the 1920 Olympics with the Great Britain hockey team. Another cricketer to win an Olympic medal was Johnny Douglas, who won a gold medal in boxing in the 1908 Olympics. Douglas had played 23 Tests and was even led England in few matches.