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Yego returns to heroic, chaotic welcome

Javelin star Julius Yego (l) holds son Jarvis Kiptoo along spouse Sincy during his welcome reception on Tuesday. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, June 16- Julius Yego returned home in triumphant fashion on Tuesday with the full red carpet welcome laid out for the You Tube Man amid joyous chaos.

It was a fitting way to recognise Kenya’s latest sporting hero who captured global imagination by spearing his way to the astonishing 91.93m African record in Birmingham a fortnight ago.

The Commonwealth and African champion caused a near stampede at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport the moment he landed a national hero.

Dignitaries led by Sports, Arts and Culture Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Hassan Wario, relatives, friends and a battery of local and international media scrambled to get the attention of the field star who was visibly stunned by what was unfolding before him.

Wario, ministry officials and fellow officers in the Directorate of Criminal Investigation department where he serves in the National Police Service appeared to hijack proceedings at the airport as reporters struggled to interview the man of the moment.

Yego held on tightly to his young son Jarvis Kiptoo as his spouse Sincy, 25 stood alongside bemused as the minister addressed the gathering.

He was then whisked away in a convoy led by two police outriders whose blaring sirens shattered the usually jam-packed Mombasa Road to a Nairobi hotel where his corporate sponsors, Orange threw him a luncheon fit for a king.

Speaking in the sidelines of the joyous chaos, Athletics Kenya vice-president, David Okeyo urged Yego to fulfil his promising season by “Aiming at winning the World Championship in Beijing.”

The first African to contest an Olympics men Javelin final in London 2012 finished second at the Rabat IAAF World Challenge event over the weekend to snap a three-successive-meet streak where he broke the national record.

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He finished behind the man who preceded him as African record-holder, Ihab Abdelrahman of Egypt with 83.99m against 85.44m at the Moroccan capital.

Having launched his season with a sixth finish (81.98m) at the opening IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha on May 15, Yego burst to form when he broke his previous NR of 85.04m set in finishing fourth at the 2013 Moscow Worlds when he won the Ostrava Golden Spike on May 26.

He bettered his standard barely a week later, June 4 when he threw 87.71 at the Rome Golden Gala to finish second behind Czech world champion Vitezslav Veseley.

Three days later, Yego stole the headlines at the Sainsbury Birmingham DL meeting when he uncorked a monstrous with a monstrous throw of 91.39m to produce the best throw since 2006 that moved him to number nine on the all time list.

It was originally ruled as a foul for being outside the sector, despite the javelin sailing well beyond the white markings. But Yego’s protest was upheld and the African record was broken.

“The major thing I am looking forward to now is the World Championships. Keep going, keep going, I say. Focus on my training. The season is still new. I think there will be even more (to come).

“My season has started well. I am hoping, God willing, come the World Championships, I will do even better. It is a process,” the You Tube Man said at the time.

Achieve that and the reception on his return to Beijing will dwarf what happened on Tuesday as Nairobi stopped to usher in Kenya’s spear hero who continues to write his own history every time he takes to the runway.


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