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Yego fired up to repeat Beijing heroics at Doha athletics worlds

Sanjeevni Today 25-09-2019 03:37 PM

Yego fired up to repeat Beijing heroics at Doha athletics worlds


Nairobi, Julius Yego shot to global fame when he defied all odds to become the first Kenyan and indeed African to win a gold medal in a field event at the Beijing 2015 IAAF World Championships.

Having stunned the world to craft one of the most enduring stories from the China edition of the biannual global track and field showpiece, Yego became an overnight sensation in capping a meteoric rise to the top of the men's Javelin.

Known all over as the 'YouTube Man' having learned his technique by watching iconic Javelin throwers on the American video-sharing, Yego found himself the center of global attention, where even chartbusters in his name were released in his country of birth.

Having endured two seasons of underperforming following the injury he sustained at the Rio 2016 Olympics final (where his only legal effort was enough for silver), Yego is eying his comeback to the middle step of the podium in Doha.

The tech-savvy Kenyan field athlete was buoyed by his performance at the African Games in Rabat, Morocco when he won his second title with a throw of 87.73m at the continental showpiece in August.

"I'm fully fit and healthy and you know when you go to a big championship like that and you know the performance is picking up, so I think I have a positive mind and I am looking forward to that again," Yego stated ahead of the departure with Team Kenya for Doha 2019.

The Beijing 2015 champion is quietly confident he can rule the roost once more in Qatar to mirror his jaw-dropping performance in China where he landed the top medal with a monster throw of 92.72m.

"In Morocco, I expected to have good results and yes it came. When we were here before we left for Morocco, we had very good training sessions and yes, I was feeling I could throw far and I was happy," the Olympics silver medalist asserted.

For all his belief that he can produce another stunning performance in Doha, Yego is also aware the race for gold in his event will be an open affair since none of the top contenders have endured a run on the global stage.

"I think in the last few years, Javelin has been so diversified across the world. In 2015 it was Africa, 2016 Germany, and Europe and now we have from the Caribbean, so I think we are coming up," he acknowledged.

Estonian Magnus Kirt comes to Doha as the No. 1 Javelin thrower based on the new IAAF ranking system with Yego down the order in 10th.

Olympic winner, Thomas Rohrer and defending world champion, Johannes Vetter of Germany also feature in the top 10.

Yego was born in Cheptonon, a village in the Rift Valley, in January 1989 and grew up loving football and running, but when he was lapped by two rivals in a 10,000m school race, he turned his attention elsewhere.

He would cut and shape a javelin from tree branches and although his parents thought he should concentrate on his studies, Yego persisted and became national junior champion.

The East African country has a rich tradition in distance running, but a lack of success in field events meant there was no-one qualified to coach Yego, who studied the likes of triple Olympic champion Jan Zelezny on YouTube.

Combining his job as a policeman with training, Yego turned to the internet, studying the technique and strength exercises the top javelin throwers employed.

"I watched this because I liked them and how they were doing and I wanted to be a champion like them as well," he said.

And thus, a fairy tale that reached its peak at the Beijing 2015 World Championships was born.

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