News|Image Source: thenational
Coming from Nandi South County in Kenya, the story of Julius Yego closely resembles that of Eklavya (Indian mythological figure), with both gaining great expertise in their fields largely due to self-teaching.
While most Kenyan athletes have shot to fame by turning to their legs, Julius Yego remains in a class of his own after using an online platform to catapult to international recognition.
His progression from a downcast teenage field athlete, who shed tears when Athletics Kenya declined to enter him for the 2008 World Junior Championships despite his 72.41m throw qualifying him for the competition, to leading his nation’s squad for the 14th IAAF World Championships in 2013 (chosen by popular vote by his teammates, thus becoming the first ever field captain of the Kenyan squad) and then clinching the gold at the 15th World Championships, has been nothing short of phenomenal.
In 2012, he adjusted the National Record thrice with the last one coming at the heats at London Olympics which helped him become the first African to contest the final at the event. Although he could only finish 12th there after injuring his knee during warm-up, he returned home a hero from his ground breaking achievement at an event Kenya had failed to even enter.
“It was fantastic; I was just feeling proud to have made the finals. It was my dream to be at the finals since the start of this year and it really worked as I had planned and I’m happy about my performance”, he said after the event.
Also in July before he travelled to London, his 76.68m best effort was enough to make him the gold medallist at the African Championships.
He was the first Kenyan to strike African Championships gold in Javelin. “I’m so happy since I’m sure I have inspired the upcoming generation here at home. I know next year, we shall have many guys qualifying in other disciplines such as Long jump and Hammer since they now know we can have success in the field”, he said after the success.