The inspiring Julius Yego Makes History in Beijing, A view from Kenya, by Justin Lagat


I knew that Justin Lagat would have a piece on one of his favorite athletes, Julius Yego, in less time than it took Julius Yego to throw 92 meters, Justin had his piece on this newest of Kenyan gold medalists! What a superb throw and wonderful story of Julius Yego!

Yego_JuliusWL-WorldCH15.jpgJulius Yego, photo by

The inspiring Julius Yego, makes history in Beijing, by Justin Lagat
In his third round, Julius Yego threw an historic throw inside the Beijing National Stadium. It was the farthest ever thrown in the last fourteen years and this put him in third place on the list of all time best.
Just after Kenya's national anthem had been sung while his countryman, area mate, training mate and one of the athlete he himself inspired, Nicholas Bett, was standing on the podium after receiving the gold medal of the men's 400m hurdles, a camera focused on Julius Yego and he held out a mark of Kenya's flag on his T-shirt. He then pointed a finger vertically across his mouth; his great desire to win gold was evident.
The first throw for Yego, which was disqualified, was disappointing and made Kenyans nervous. The second one too, which was only 82.45m was also not what was expected of him. It only placed him in 5th position.
Then, as Kenyans were beginning to get worried that perhaps it was not a good day for him, Julius Yego threw 92.72m; the farthest throw in the last fourteen years! This placed him in the top three of all time best throwers in the world. By simply saying that this throw is a world leading time for this year, which is actually the truth, one may seem to be doing an injustice to such a massive throw. It is like saying that Usain Bolt holds the fastest time in the one hundred meter event in his village, which is true, but doesn't explain it well. Julius' throw here in Beijing should only be viewed more proportionally.
Egypt's Ihab El Sayed who, just like Yego, threw only two successful attempts won a silver medal with his 88.99m second attempt. His first throw had been 86.07m and all his others attempts were not registered. Tero Pitkamaki threw 87.64m in his fourth attempt and that enabled him to win a bronze medal for Finland.
Out of the six gold medals that have come to Kenyan so far, two of them are being won for the country, in events, which, for the first time, Kenya has reached the medal platform at the championships. What is interesting is that both of these gold medals have come out from two athletes who come from the same area in Nandi County of Kenya (I am yet to confirm if they come from the same village).
The two athletes made a bold decision to train in different events that are not popular in a county that is well known worldwide to produce most of the greatest middle and long distance runners in the world.
Julius Yego inspired Nicholas Bett, and one day before he himself would win the first ever gold medal for Kenya in the Javelin Throw, the person who he had inspired won the first ever gold medal too in the men's 400m hurdles.
The result of this will mean that Kenyan fans will now learn more about the reaction times and the blocks in the sprints, how many attempts there are in the Javelin Throw and what lengths are usually registered in major championships.

Leave a comment

Wake up to RunBlogRun's news in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you informed about the Sport you love.

Subscribe to RunBlogRun's Global News Feed

* indicates required