Nairobi, Jul 26: Former world javelin champion Julius Yego is not amused, as his coach Joseph Musonik was omitted from Kenya team for the Africa Games.
"I need a coach to guide me and point out my mistakes when I make my throws. Field events competitions are technical in nature and need close supervision. Small details are critical for a perfect competition," Yego said in Nairobi on Thursday. Yego, who has been battling injuries and loss of form, hopes to redeem his career in Morocco when the continent's mini-Olympics will be held from August 16-30.
However, the decision by Athletics Kenya (AK) not to include a field events coach in the line-up has left the Africa javelin champion frustrated.
"After years of throwing, I have learnt a lot and my experience may help me, but what about other field athletes in the team, who will guide them," Yego added.
Last year, Yego was at a loss during the Commonwealth Games and the Africa Championships in Nigeria as he had to do without a coach. But he is now putting his foot down to demand a reverse of the decision and allow his tactician to travel with the team to Rabat.
"It sounds ridiculous when you train with your coach from Monday to Friday only for them to disappear during the championships," he said.
Niggling injuries saw the 29-year old miss out on winning gold in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. He settled for silver and was unable to defend his world title in London in 2017.
Kenya has named Julius Kirwa to serve as head coach, with specific focus on middle and long distance races. Sprints coach will be Stephen Mwaniki while Elizabeth Olaba, a former shot put athlete has been drafted in to oversee all field events.
"Musonik is my coach and specialist in javelin yet he is not in the team. In 2015 Beijing World Championships I had a Finnish coach," Yego affirmed.
However, Yego believe his plight will be addressed and he will be able to add on the medal haul the country expects in Rabat, Morocco.
Kenya seeks to improve on their last outing which saw it win six gold (five in track and field and one in volleyball). Nigeria, South Africa, Morocco, Ethiopia, Algeria and Egypt are the teams to watch out in the Africa Games. (UNI-Xinhua)