NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 9 – Former World and Commonwealth Games Javelin Champion Julius Yego believes defending his African title last week at the African Senior Athletics Championship in Asaba, Nigeria is a huge morale booster after two years of struggling to reclaim his form.
Yego has battled with injury since claiming silver at the 2016 Olympic Games where he threw 88.24 metres after retiring at the second throw and hasn’t quite managed to grasp his glory days back.
He lost his World Championship title in London last year and went on to relinquish his Commonwealth Games crown in Gold Coast, Australia in April this year.
“This is a huge morale booster for me because it hasn’t been a good two years for me and I believe this will now give me some more confidence.”
“We didn’t have many competitions this year and majorly my concentration was on these African Games and the Continental Cup in Ostrava which is my next target,” noted the 29-year old.
In Asaba though, he turned the clock of time to pick his third African javelin title and finish on the poium for the fourth consecutive time having started his African dominance with a third placed finish in his debut in 2010 when the championship was hosted in Nairobi.
Nonetheless, the You Tube Man says he was not entirely pleased with his performance in Asaba, but was just content with defending the crown.
“I wasn’t very happy with the distance I threw (77.34m) but defending the title was good. It means a lot to me because it has been a period of hard work and I want to dedicate this title to my son who just turned one month,” Yego opined.
Up next for the ex- Kapsabet Boys High School athlete is the Ostrava IAAF Continental Cup next month where he plans to give a go at his first ever title on his debut.
On the long shot, his eyes are trained on the 209 IAAF World Championship in Doha as he looks to reclaim the title he won in Beijing, China in 2015.
“I couldn’t defend my world title last year after struggling with injury and that was very painful. Now my focus is on Doha and that is perhaps the biggest thing I will concentrate on next year. I will do a few Diamond League circuits to build the momentum,” added Yego.
This season though, he will end his season in Ostrava.
“I haven’t had a very good season in the Diamond League because I have done only one and I have not accumulated enough points to progress. I will just finish off the season in Ostrava, take some time off then plan for next season. The manager is yet to give me my training program but I know he has good plans for me,” Yego noted.