Julius Kiplagat Yego remarkable throw of 91.39m to extend the African javelin record at the IAAF Diamond League in Birmingham left many people in awe.
The throw was a world lead, diamond league record, national record and an area record in Javelin. It was regarded as the best men’s Javelin throw since 2006.
Prior to that Birmingham meet; he had back to back Kenyan records which was a Kenyan record of 86.88m at an IAAF Diamond League meeting in Ostrava Golden Spike in May and another one in Golden Gala in Rome with a throw of 87.71m.
I think this year Yego is in cracking shape. I think he will surprise many at the World Championships in Beijing at Bird’s nest stadium from August 22-30, 2015.
Yego’s three back to back record were accomplished in a short period of time during the IAAF Diamond meetings. He is going to challenge the top athletes in the podium finish in Beijing at the World Championships.
During the US President Barack Obama visit to Kenya last week, Julius Yego was given an honourable mention by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi on July 25, 2015.
I came across an article written online on the same day as the launch of the summit by Tony Owori of Standard newspaper on the section of Standard digital online headlined – “Kenyatta praised innovative young people who have gone out of their way to become the country’s ambassadors”.
In that article, President Kenyatta said: “This ingenuity is also exemplified by Julius Yego, who logged onto YouTube using an old mobile phone, and learned how to throw the Javelin and this year has recorded the world’s longest throw.”
Yego success did not come that easily. It started way back in 2008 where he won his first national title while he was only 19.
Born in Cheptonon in Tindiret, Nandi county – a Kenyan county known for running – he did not choose running but he fell in love with Javelin he used to watch on YouTube to learn the tricks of the game hence his nickname – the YouTube man.
Julius Yego’s first victory in an international javelin event was in 2011 at the All Africa Games in Maputo where he bagged gold and set a national record. He later climbed the ladder to win the African Senior Athletics Championships in 2012 in Benin; as well as the win the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Scotland and African Championships in Morocco in 2014.
If Yego wins the gold medal at this year World Championships, it would be Kenyan’s first gold medal outside the track.
I am proud for the Kenyan Javelin ambassador who has made Kenya proud, by using his God given skills to impact the country and the world at large, by showing not only we can do well on the track but also in the field events.
I also believe if one does their best in their respective field, they can never go unnoticed from citizens of their own country, continent and the world. Their reward usually comes at the perfect timing of God. He is impacting a new generation of Kenyan field athletes.
Yego portrays a story of an athlete who does not give up and chases after his dream. He could also break the world record in Javelin.
I think it is time for Kenyan female throwers to come up and show their God given talents. They need support and encouragement. I am sure there are Kenyan women Javelin throwers who need to prove their skills.
If Yego believes he can deliver gold at the World Championship in Beijing, which, I am sure he does, It may come to pass.
(Lucy Mutisya writes this opinion piece from Kenya. Do you have an opinion or insight on Athletics in your country in Africa? Send them to us for publication at our contact us page.)