What you need to know:
- Yego’s historic moment that came a day after Nicholas Bett gave the country its maiden 400m hurdles world title
- The 26-year-old was placed fourth at the 2013 Moscow World Championships, improving his Kenyan record to 85.40m.
Kenyan javelin sensation thrower Julius Yego continued to make history when he won the country its first major field event gold medal at the World Championships in Beijing, China on Wednesday.
After his first throw that didn’t count, a tense Yego would score 82.42m in his second for a fifth overall placing before hauling a monster 92.72m in his third throw that wrapped up the contest. Ihab Abdelrahman El-Sayed of Egypt won silver in 88.99, while Tero Pitkamaki of Finland finished third in 87.64.
Yego’s historic moment, which came a day after Nicholas Bett gave the country its maiden 400m hurdles world title, was enough to see Yego break the Africa record for the second time and the national record for the ninth time.
His throw was the third best in javelin history after the World record of 98.48 set by Jan Zelezny (Czech) on May 25, 1996 and his World Championship record of 92.80 from the Edmonton Championships on August 12, 2001.
Yego's gold was Kenya's fifth in the Beijing championships, placing the country on top of the medal standings.
Yego had missed the podium place by a whisker during the previous 2013 World Championships in Moscow to settle fourth but improved his Kenyan record to 85.40m.
Fondly known as the “YouTube man” for learning javelin from the Internet, Yego has been astonishing since hitting the international scene with bronze for Kenya at the 2010 Africa Championships in Nairobi. He made his maiden trip abroad for the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
Yego won Kenya’s first ever field gold at the 2011 All-Africa Games with a national record throw of 78.34m and would improve it to 79.95m on April 2012 at the nationals after returning from Finland where he was on a scholarship at the IAAF centre in Kuortane.
His throw qualified him in “B” standard for the 2012 London Olympics, making him the first Kenyan in the field events. He improved the Kenyan record at the Finnish Elite Games Series in Kuortane on July 22, 2012, throwing 81.12m. At the London Olympics qualifying round, Yego hauled a national record of 81.81m to reach the final before finishing 12th overall.
The 26-year-old was placed fourth at the 2013 Moscow World Championships, improving his Kenyan record to 85.40m. Yego won javelin gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, beating the reigning Olympic champion, Keshorn Walcott, with a distance of 83.87 m. Yego was the first Kenyan athlete to win a Commonwealth title in a field event. He would retain his African title in 2014 with a season best 84.72m, defeating world leader Ihab Abdelrahman El-Sayed of Egypt.
Yego continued his rise in 2015, winning the Ostrava Golden Spike javelin on May 26 with a new Kenyan record of 86.88m and would on June 4 improve the national record to 87.71m at the Golden Gala in Rome, placing second behind Vítezslav Vesely. Three days later, Yego won at the British Grand Prix in Birmingham, overtaking Vesely in the last round with a massive throw of 91.39m that was a new Diamond League and Africa record. It was the best throw since 2006.