In an era where quality coaching at a very young age is considered to be a game changer and the top player’s entourage almost has half a dozen person, Kenyan javelin thrower Julius Yego has proved that determination, self-discipline and the hunger to learn can overcome any challenge.
The 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallist never really had a regular coach and support system in a country where, for generations, the only track and field talent found was in middle and long distance running.
And understandably Yego also dreamt of becoming a distance runner or a footballer while growing up in Cheptonon, a village in the Rift Valley of Kenya. But he soon realised that he was no good after being lapped in a 10,000 school race and decided to take up some other sport.
But in a country obsessed with running, taking up any other sport isn’t that easy.
“I used to watch the guys throw a wooden javelin at primary school and I had an inner feeling I could throw better [than them] if I tried,” Yego had told World Athletics soon after becoming the first Kenyan to clinch the Commonwealth Games javelin gold at Glasgow in 2014.
He initially made wooden equipment by cutting tree branches into the shape…