NAIROBI, April 2- World javelin champion Julius Yego is optimistic the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) will extend further time limit after Kenyan Members of Parliament failed to pass a law criminalising sports doping ahead of the April 5 deadline.
Kenyan track and field athletes now risks a ban from competing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as the world champion country awaits WADA’s decision after the deadline expires next Tuesday.
“I don’t think Kenya will be banned but it is worrying that the bill is yet to be passed because we don’t know what WADA will say when the deadline reaches. Kenya is a big country in the Olympics and it will be such a shame if we will be banned. For us athletes, the Olympics is a big thing and I would like to urge the government to fast-track the process,” Yego, the Commonwealth champion told Capital Sport.
The State sponsored bill is currently with the Labor and Social Welfare Committee to allow public participation for the next 14 days before the House team submits its report containing its recommended amendments to the House.
The House is on a ten-day recess and when they resume Sittings April 12, the first four days will be purely dedicated to discussing the President’s State of the nation address delivered on Thursday.
On Friday, National Olympic Committee of Kenya chairman Kipchoge Keino admitted Kenya were in danger of missing the Olympics due to the slow process in adopting the legislation.
However, Yego will not be distracted by the issues revolving around the bill and is instead focusing on adding an Olympic gold medal to his already feathered cap.
His first shot at the Summer Games was in 2012 in London when he finished 12th throwing a distance of 77.15m.
“Looking back at London, it was my first ever shot at the Olympics and my first ever big international competition. I was still very young and inexperienced but it is different now. I have gained the experience over the years and I will definitely give a better performance,” Yego explained.
Before the Olympics scheduled for August, The African record holder is planning on participating in only one competition in May and will dedicate most of his time to training.
Having spent parts of late February training in South Africa, Yego has chosen to prepare at home for the remaining months and might choose an international destination closer to the Rio games.
Last year, the YouTube man as he is fondly known reached new heights in his javelin career, winning the World Championships crown in Beijing with a new continental monster of 92.72m that ranked him as the third best thrower in javelin history after the world record of 98.48m set by Jan Zelezny in 1996.
Heading into the Olympics, Yego says he is not so much focused on improving the distance, but winning the Olympic gold.
“I am not looking at the distance because for me that is not important. The Olympics is a big thing and the only thing on my mind is being an Olympic champion. About distance, that will come naturally depending on if your body is in good shape. For example, last year I never expected to throw 92m but my body was in good shape and I did it,” the 27-year-old father of one underscored.
He expects stiff competition from among others reigning Olympic champion Trinidadian Keshorn Walcott, Egyptian Abdelrahman El-Sayed, Norwegian Andrea Thorkildsen and perennial rival Tero Pitkamaki.