Athletics Athletics

Yego steals the show with 91.39m record!

Julius Yego in action in Birmingham. Photo/IAAF

NAIROBI, June 7- There is just no stopping Julius Yego after the Kenyan Javelin star set a resounding African, Diamond League and national record with a monster 91.39m last throw, the farthest anyone has gone in 10 years on Sunday in Birmingham.

His record-setting victory that moved the You Tube Man to number nine on the all time list stole the show at Alexander Stadium in an event overshadowed by the late withdraw of home favourite, Mo Farah over swirling doping allegations against his coach, Alberto Salazar.

Even though the javelin boasted the strongest field of any discipline at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix, few could have predicted the drama that would ensue in that event.

Yego took an early lead with 85.95m in the first round but Trinidad and Tobago’s London 2012 Olympic Games champion Keshorn Walcott moved ahead of him and into pole position with a national record of 86.43m in round three.

But Walcott’s lead lasted just a matter of minutes as Yego threw 10 centimetres farther with the next throw of the competition.

World champion Vitezslav Vesely just made it past the halfway cut of the competition, throwing 79.55m in round three after two fouls to sit in eighth place. The 2013 world champion remained in that position until his last throw of the day when he unleashed a season’s best of 88.18m to move straight into first place.

Everyone else was unable to respond to the Czech thrower with their final throws until Yego stepped on to the runway.

He sent his javelin high into the air and it landed well beyond Vesely’s mark but was initially ruled to have fallen outside the sector.

It was up for debate, though, as the sector lines hadn’t been extended beyond 87 metres.

The throw was measured anyway – 91.39m for the record – but after close examination the judges said it was still outside the sector.

Twenty minutes after the meeting ended, with the stands now completely empty, the officials reversed their decision and awarded Yego the victory with his 91.39m throw.

Confirmed as the winning mark, Yego’s performance is not only an African record and IAAF Diamond League record, but it was also the best throw in the world since 2006.

The outstanding Yego has now broken the national record in three successive outings, another unparalled feat in a season where hopes of a first field medal at summer’s IAAF World Championships continue to rise.

He won the Ostrava Golden Spike IAAF Challenge meeting in a Kenyan standard of 86.88m before he broke the mark with 87.71m at the previous Diamond League event in Rome on Thursday where he was beaten to the top honours by Vesely.

– Kenyan domination-

The Javelin star’s wonder show was a perfect ending to Kenya’s dominance on the track where World champion Eunice Sum, Commonwealth winner, James Magut, Virginia Nyambura and Thomas Longosiwa claimed polished victories in Kenya’s show of might.

Moscow Worlds and Commonwealth champion Sum started the gold rush to chalk her second DL victory after Eugene, Oregon when she posted the only sub 2:00 performance in a 1:59.85 win over home runner, Laura Muir (2:00.42) as Poland’s Joanna Jozwik took bronze in 2:00.74 in comfortable fashion.

Another Glasgow Club Games gold medallist, James Magut recorded his first win since winning in the UK when he out-kicked Hillary Cheruiyot over the final 200m to cross the line unchallenged in a slow 3:37.61 in the windy stadium that prohibited faster performances.

In the race Farah was to feature, Cheruiyot came second in 3:38.42 with Vincent Kibet (3:38.60) completing the all Kenyan podium.

Doha surprise winner, Virginia Nyambura motored on in her breakthrough season by extracting quick revenge on Hyvin Kiyeng who beat her to the middle step on the podium in Rome in a commanding front running performance that brought her home in 9:24.01.

It was the second podium shut out for Kenya after Kiyeng (9:25.20) and Worlds silver medallist, Lidya Chepkurui (9:26.54) took silver and bronze in a race that had no designated pacemaker.

This was largely due to the fact that Nyambura was contracted as a rabbit before she stunned the field in the DL opener in Doha to earn her place among the elite.

In the men 5000m, resurgent 2008 Olympics bronze medallist, Thomas Longosiwa and thrice national champion, Isiah Kiplangat Koech dominated the race after setting themselves apart from the competition with five laps to go.

Their internal competition to the honours was decided when Longosiwa started a sustained kick from just after the bell to show his younger challenger a clean pair of heels to win by over 30m in 13:07.26 as Kiplangat clocked 13:11.22 for silver.

South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka (13:20.22) held on for the last podium place to deny Kenya the sweep as another Olympics bronze winner, Edwin Soi (13:21.07) followed in fourth.

Job Kinyor was the best placed Kenyan in the men 800m race in fourth with 1:47.49 as Botswana’s Commonwealth champion, Nijel Amos claimed the honours by out-pacing Poland’s European titleholder, Adam Kszczot over the home-stretch with 1:46.77 against 1:47.03.

Olympics champion, David Rudisha withdrew from the race on Monday leaving his trusted pace-setter, Sammy Tangui to lead out the runners until 600m as the windy conditions put paid to hopes of a fast time.

But there is no denying superlatives are almost running out to describe the majesty of Yego as he continues his personal quest to redefine national history.

-Additional material from IAAF