NAIROBI (Reuters) - Julius Yego, the pioneering Kenyan thrower, said on Saturday that he believes he will win the country’s first javelin medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer.
Yego has become a sporting trailblazer in a country famed for its runners as the first Kenyan athlete to win a Commonwealth Games gold in a field event in 2014, a feat he then repeated at an even higher level in last year’s world championships.
Yet now the 27-year-old Yego has set his sights on the ultimate prize by becoming Kenya’s first Olympic javelin medalist. Only a miracle can stop him, says his coach Joseph Mosonik.
“Everybody thinks I should win a medal, Kenya’s first javelin medal in Rio. Even myself, I think I will do it. I have a feeling that I will do it,” Yego said at the Kenyan Police Championships on Saturday after winning with a modest throw of 78 meters.
“Rio is three months away and I am looking forward to a good build up. I am well ahead of my schedule, almost 60 percent fit at the moment, and obviously better than this time last year.
“I am waiting for communication from my manager on future competitions although I know I will be in Eugene (for the Diamond League meeting) at the end of May,” Yego added.
Yego, who caused a sensation by winning the world title in Beijing last year, is in even better shape this year, according to Mosonik.
“Last year, he threw 74 meters in his first competition. This year he threw 78 meters last week at his first competition in Eldoret and 78 again today,” Mosonik told Reuters.
Editing by Ed Osmond and Ian Chadband