Yego hangs to golden Olympic dream
Numerous athletes held dear the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for varied reasons before plans for the Summer Games this year were wrecked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Former world javelin champion Julius Yego is certainly one of them. The 31-year-old’s dream to win Kenya’s first ever Olympic gold will have to wait at least another year.
Since winning a bronze medal in African Championships in 2010, Yego has gone from strength to strength winning gold medals in African Championships (two), African Games (previously All Africa Games (two), and one each in Commonwealth Games and World Championships.
At the 2016 Olympic Games held in Rio, Brazil, Yego once again inscribed his name among the greatest athletes on the planet when he bagged a silver medal.
With the Olympic gold, the only missing medal in Yego’s cabinet, the former world champion was hoping to notch a gold medal in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
However, with the unprecedented outbreak of coronavirus, Yego’s dream has once again been delayed by a year with the Games now rescheduled to the summer of 2021 in the Japanese city.
In an interview with Chamgei FM, a Kalenjin radio station under the Royal Media Services, Yego said the Tokyo Games will be his last appearance at the Olympics.
“For sure I can tell you that I could feel that this was my year. I started my preparations early enough and yes; I was doing very well. In Rio I managed to win silver and I thank God for that. However, my aim was to win gold in Tokyo but since it has been postponed for the reasons that we all know, I still hope that I will achieve my dream of getting an Olympic gold next year which is most likely to be my last appearance,” he said.
The reigning Commonwealth champion said the dynamics brought about by the pandemic has also affected his training routine.
“I am now at home with my family and as an athlete you cannot just sit back and wait for normalcy to resume because it will affect your fitness. Therefore, I am just trying to keep fit through running and other small exercises,” explained Yego.
Drawing inspiration from his heroics in 2015 where he won a gold medal in Beijing, China, Yego believes he is still capable of eclipsing his landmark throw of 92.72 metres he achieved then.
“(2015) I can say was a unique year to me. Even before we went for the championships, I could feel the confidence in me. With the outbreak of coronavirus, I think I am also heading to my best in terms of my personal training as in 2015,” observed Yego.