Nairobi, Sep 26: Olympic javelin silver medalist Julius Yego said he will compete without any hesitation for the first time in two years at the World Championships, which starts in Doha on Friday.
The 30-year-old said reclaiming his title in Doha will be the best reward. Kenya's Beijing 2015 world champion has suffered two injury-troubled years but despite competing just a handful of times in 2019, he gave a welcome hint he is returning for his best form after winning at the African Games in August with a season's best of 87.73m.
Yego, who has been named Kenyan captain at the World Championships, has warned the country has the capacity to reclaim the overall title from the United States. "The training has gone on well as planned and the mood in the camp has been ecstatic having seen a good blend of youth and experience," Yego said on Wednesday. "Last season my performance was poor because I did not reach the heights I wanted. Yes, I won the African Championships but I was not where I was in 2015 and 2016."
A groin injury and problems with his ankle deflected Yego's wind sail. But he has declared himself fit, having fully recovered from the injuries and said he is hungry to reclaim his lost title. "I resumed my build-ups early. I didn't want to rush and I am happy my body has responded well. For the World Championships, it is like when you win something, you will want to repeat the same and especially being a top competition," said Yego.
With four different winners from this season's five IAAF Diamond League meetings and a combination of injuries and confusing form from some of the main contenders, the men's javelin will be one of the most open field events in Doha.
Defending champion Johannes Vetter is one such athlete to have had an injury-riddled build up. Forced to take a two-month competitive break in late June, the muscular German has made an impressive return to the competitive fray in recent weeks, winning three of his four competitions.
After hurling the spear out to a massive 90.03m for victory at The Match in his final pre-World Championships outing, the 26-year-old showed the kind of form to suggest he could become only the second man in history along with Jan Zelezny (1993 and 1995) to win back-to-back world javelin titles.
European silver medalist Andreas Hofmann is the only javelin thrower to win two IAAF Diamond League meetings in 2019 with victory in Shanghai and Monaco. With a season's best of 89.65m, the German champion is sure to be a contender in Doha.
Then there is Olympic and European champion Thomas Rohler and Julian Weber (86.86m), a fourth German thrower. Arguably, the most consistent performer in the world this season is European bronze medalist Magnus Kirt, who has enjoyed a stellar campaign. (UNI-XINHUA)