Yego wins Javelin for Kenya's first field gold

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 26, 2015 8:57 AM

BEIJING (Reuters) - Julius Yego continued Kenya's dominance of theworld athletics championships by winning his country's fifth gold medal with a monster 92.72-metres 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 88.99msecond-round effort.

Finland's Tero Pitkamaki maintained European pride by taking bronze with his 87.64m best effort. Thomas Rohler, of Germany placed fourth with 87.41, after having led in the early stages.

Yego, 26, is diminutive by the standards of international javelin throwers, standing only 5ft 8in/1.75m tall.

Rejected as a runner by sports coaches as a schoolboy, he taught himself the javelin by watching videos on YouTube.

After the first two rounds in the Bird's Nest Stadium, Yego, winner of Commonwealth Games gold last year, was trailing Rohler and El Sayed.

For the third round, Yego threw himself diving to the ground at the end of his run-up, and his spear hung in the stormy Beijing evening sky before landing just eight cm short of the championship record, set in 2001 by the world record-holder, Jan Zelezny.

Yego's throw is the longest anywhere since then mark betters a Commonwealth record which was held by Briton Steve Backley since 1992.

(stevenwdownes@btinternet.com, editing by Mitch Phillips)