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Athletics

Tokyo 2020 Will Be My Last Olympics-World Javelin Champion

In what look like a beaming sound of drum of retirement, the Kenya World javelin champion, Julius Yego says the Tokyo 2020 will likely be his last Olympics.

“This will be the last Games in which I will be able to compete at the highest level”, Yego said.

Yego, matured under the tutelage of coach Petteri Piironen, will be 32 next year and 35 by the time of Paris 2024, so stated Tokyo 2020 will likely be the last Games where he is able to compete at a high level.

“To me, I take the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 very seriously,” Yego said to Xinhua.

“Age is a major factor in this sport and I will be 35 by the time the next Olympics comes around.”

Tokyo 2020 was postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the Opening Ceremony now set for July 23 next year.

Yego cemented his place as one of the best African throwers in history when he won silver at Rio 2016, a year after becoming the first Kenyan to win gold at the World Athletics Championships in a field event.

Since 2016, Yego has suffered from groin and ankle injuries, but is using the coronavirus-enforced break in competition as a chance to recover.


He added: “In my own capacity, training at home under limited resources, I still want to live the dream.

“I will do everything I can to become an Olympic champion, becoming an Olympic champion is my biggest dream, something that always inspires me.

“However, deep down my mind, I pray that I will be able to get somebody to come along who will follow in my footsteps.”

Last year saw mixed results for Yego; he won an African Games gold medal but sadly scored no throw in the javelin final at the World Championships.

Injuries hampered the Kenyan in 2017 and 2018, which included a last-place finish in the javelin final at the 2017 World Championships and failing to qualify for the Commonwealth Games final in 2018, despite being the defending champion. 

Now sitting with a mark of 87.73 metres from last year, Yego is 11th in the world rankings and has surpassed the Tokyo 2020 entry standard.

Yego received the nickname “Mr YouTube” in his early days as a professional athlete, having taught himself how to throw the javelin from videos on the platform.

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