Tokyo — "If we don't start thinking the future without me, then it is going to be difficult in the upcoming events. We need to have many competitors in the next Olympics and World Championships," Kenyan Javelin star Julius Yego said after bowing out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the qualification round.
Yego, silver medallist from the last Olympic Games in Tokyo, had a poor outing after being red-flagged for his first two attempts in the qualification round on Wednesday morning, and only managed to record a throw of 77.34m in his final attempt.
This was not good enough to earn him a ticket to the next round in his third Olympics.
Yego, the 2015 World Champion, who entered the competition in a personal best of 92.72, blamed his bad outing to the absence of a coach.
"My performance was not good. Looking at the distances the people who qualified recorded, it was not as big as we expected. All the three who made the podium in Rio 2016 are not in the next round. Defending champion Röhler (Thomas) of Germany did not make it to the Olympics because of injury, Keshorn (Walcott) and myself, we did not manage to make it to the final and that is the beauty of sport, you win today, tomorrow you are beaten and you accept," Yego, fondly known as the YouTube man remarked.
"You can see here I did not have anybody to correct me. Technically, I did not get the first two throws right. I could only think on my own, but this is the event you need someone who is coaching you. My competitors had their coaches here who rectified them whenever they made mistakes. For me I had to think for myself and only use experience," Yego told Capital Sports in Tokyo.
Yego also revealed that a bicep injury he picked up in training yesterday slowed him down and he was also uncertain on whether he would compete.
But he was thankful after overcoming that challenge and made it to compete at his third Olympic Games. But, it was the first time he was not making the final.
"I was feeling okay in the warm up but I am excited I managed to compete today. Yesterday I didn't know if I would make it to compete today because of the injury," the 32-year old stated.
Yego has meanwhile challenged the Athletics Kenya (AK) administration to think beyond him if Kenya is to have many javelin competitors in future international events.
He says this will only happen if AK works to improve infrastructure.
"The problem we have is lack of facilities and coaches. We have athletes who are capable of throwing well, but if we don't have the sports infrastructure especially in the field events and reach out to the athletes, help and manage them, they will not be going nowhere."
Yego, sent warning bells to Kenya adding that, "If we don't wake up, we will lose it. We have a good transition in javelin. We lost the men's steeplechase and it is a matter of administration, and when I speak people think I am criticizing the management. But we have to think beyond this now. If we don't, we will lose our traditional events and it will take time to come back."
"Unless we have Conseslus (Kipruto) back next year, we will continue crying and we are not addressing the problem which is the administration, we are not taking time to follow up, take care and find out how they are training."