Yego wins Javelin for Kenya's first field gold

Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:09am EDT
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BEIJING (Reuters) - Julius Yego continued Kenya's dominance of the world athletics championships by winning his country's fifth gold medal with a monster 92.72 meters throw in a dramatic men's javelin final.

It is the first time that Kenya, a nation noted for its distance-running prowess, has won a world title in a field event, and Yego's victory comes a day after Nicholas Bett won the 400m hurdles title, the shortest distance over which any Kenyan has become a world champion.

In an event which has long been a European stranglehold, there was a one-two for Africa, as Egypt's Ihab El Sayed took the silver medal with his 88.99m second-round effort.

Finland's Tero Pitkamaki gave Europea some consolation by taking bronze with his 87.64m best effort. Thomas Rohler, of Germany placed fourth with 87.41, having led in the early stages.

"It's really unbelievable," Yego, 26, said. "I'm happy. I've won a gold medal for Kenya.

"And it's really nice for me because after (the June 7 Diamond League win in) Birmingham, I had a good competition there, but I had a serious injury and thought I won't compete at the world championship. But I did and a really big throw.

"I have to go and watch my throw now, because I didn't feel it, but it was almost perfect. So I'll have to go and watch it, and see, and enjoy," he said.

"Very few athletes have done what I have done. It is not easy."

Yego is diminutive by the standards of international javelin throwers, standing only 5ft 8in (1.75m) tall.   Continued...

Julius Yego of Kenya celebrates after winning gold next to third placed Tero Pitkamaki of Finland (L) in the men's javelin throw final during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 26, 2015.    REUTERS/David Gray