Yego positive as Kenya takes to the field
16 July 2014, 19:50
Nairobi - Kenyan javelin thrower Julius Yego has hailed the inclusion of field event athletes in the team for the Commonwealth Games as a positive step for the development of the sport.
Kenya has long relied on its middle and long distance athletes to bring glory in major international events including the Olympic and world championships.
The East African nation topped the medals table with 29 medals including 12 golds, all from the track at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
But Yego, one of seven field athletes in the 68-strong squad for the July 23 to August 3 championships in Glasgow, believes Kenyan investment in field events is long overdue.
"Athletics Kenya has been blamed for ignoring field events but it is also, we, the athletes, who have not shown the seriousness," said Yego, the current athletics team captain who became the first Kenyan athlete to qualify in the field events for the Olympics in London in 2012.
The 25-year-old honed his javelin throwing skills through watching online videos but says his technique has much improved in the two years since the Olympics.
Yego came a surprise second behind Finland's former world champion, Tero Pitakamaki, in the Oslo Diamond League in June, coming just one centimetre short of his first victory in the circuit.
Yego's throw of 84.17m was second to Pitakamaki's 84.18m.
"That performance was a major boost for my preparation for the Commonwealth Games. I am now ready for a podium finish in Glasgow to redeem myself after finishing fourth at the world championships in Moscow," Yego said.
Yego will have to contend with top challengers, led by reigning Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago.
He will be joined by young Kenyan compatriot, Alex Kiprotich, who will competing in his first international athletics competition in Glasgow.
The 19-year-old Kiprotich, who has been training with Yego, won the African junior championships in Mauritius last year with a fourth-round throw of 71.43m.
"Alex is a super talent. He's eager to learn. Next season he's going to be the top athlete in the javelin," Yego added.