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Former Javelin World Champion Julius Yego during a past training session at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Athletics

Javelin star Yego skeptical of competing in 2020

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 14 – Javelin Olympic silver medalist Julius Yego is skeptical about competing this year and says he has switched his focus on starting his build up for the Tokyo Olympics to next year.

Speaking to Capital Sport from his home in Eldoret, Yego says he hasn’t trained as well as he could have wished due to the stoppages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and thus will only look to keep his body fit before stepping up the intensity next year.

“Even my coach told me that we look forward to next year. This year is gone like that and we won’t be able to compete. We have not had good training. For track athletes it’s easier because they can get a road and run. But for a technical sport like javelin, you need to do more. It has been difficult,” Yego says.

The 29-year old has been recovering from a niggling injury he picked up during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and he has endured a tough spell since then.

He had hoped to build up to his comeback this year with the target being the Tokyo Olympics, but the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic slowed him down.

“It has been very difficult to train. I have just been around my home in Eldoret and luckily a month ago I got some finances from World Athletics through the athletics support fund and with it I made my own gym in the house. I was also lucky because the Eldoret Sports Club allowed me access to their field to train so I have been doing just easy throwsto make sure my shoulder doesn’t sleep that much,” Yego added.

He says lack of a tartan track to train has been a huge challenge but remains optimistic the country will open up in the next few months for sports to return.

He is also pessimistic of competing at the Nairobi leg of the World Athletics Continental Tour scheduled for October 3, especially noting that javelin will not be a core event in the meet.

“Maybe I can compete but that will depend on whether we can access a place where we can really train. That will be my first competition this year and I can’t just risk because I can easily get injured. It is better to be healthy until next year when we can compete well,” noted Yego.

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At the same time, he remains focused on achieving his life-long ambition, clinching the Olympic gold.

“I am looking forward to a good performance next year. Winning the Olympics is my main goal. I have silver from 2016 but now I want the gold; that will be a precious thing for me,” noted Yego.

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