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History beckoning for World javelin champs Yego in Rio Olympics

15 August 2016, 18:26

Nairobi  (Xinhua) -- Four years ago, a 23-year-old Kenyan field event athlete lined up at the London Games knowing his mission had just started.

Lining up against some of the World best javelin thrower, Julius Yego was inscribing a new history for himself and for the country.

He was the first Kenyan to compete at the Olympics in the field event. He needed up finishing 12th overall.

Fast track to 2016, and the world focus will be on the 27-year-old who has proved that hard work, passion and determination are all that one needs to excel in sports.

"My journey is a little bit different from other sports people. I started off with school championships and though I wanted to do well, the priority for my parents was to excel in education. My father feared I was focusing so much on sport at the expense of safeguarding my life through good education," said Yego in Nairobi after training.

But on Monday as he prepares to launch his title assault in Rio Olympics, there will be no doubt in the mind of the world javelin champion on what a man can achieve and what it has taken him to get to where he is today.

"The unpredictability of sport is what makes it interesting. I had no coach, no formal training in javelin and no idea how far I could throw when I arrived in London four years ago. I finished 12th at the 2012 Olympics, but then I went on finish first at the African Championships in 2014 and the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. That shows the progress that one can have in sport," he said.

Now he wants to make another mark in the discipline as he targets gold at the Rio Olympics.

"For me the main challenge is training without a coach most of my time. The coach I am with is staying in Finland. I'm not able to pay for him to come and stay with me (in Kenya) because that is so expensive. Then we have our problems in Kenya about management and even my local coach will have to join me in Rio a week after my departure."

Both Yego and his coach will have to rely on the YouTube updates and instruction sent by video from his coach in Finland.

But that will not stand in his way as he launches his campaign on Wednesday. He has even got over the frustration of leaving his local trainer in Nairobi.

- Xinhua


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