Julius Yego awaits stiff competition in Moscow javelin throw

By Josephat Siror

Moscow: A fierce competition awaits Kenya’s javelin thrower and Africa Games champion, Julius Yego when he encounters Finnish ‘strong’ squad in Moscow.

This is after a last minute surprise appearance by one of the Finnish ever successful javelin throwers, Tero Pitkämäki whose performance went exceptionally well despite recovering from surgery.

With an impending onslaught from two other equally competitive compatriots and high pressure locally, the Finnish javelin throwers could pose tough challenge for Kenya’s lone thrower and other participating athletes.

Finnish 2007 World Championships gold medalist, Pitkämäki who has been suffering from an injury was drafted at the last minute into the national team after heated discussion angling around his selection to world championships.

The athlete, however, posted an astounding throw lashing a record 85.70 m ahead of his compatriots, whom they had a training edge  over him. They were all sucked below his mark only after a single throw during the Kaleva competition in Finland last week.

He led other field athletes Antti Ruuskanen (82.90 and Teemu Wirkkara (82.87) to second, third position respectively. A total of four Finn javelin throwers pulled their throws slightly above the world championships qualifying standard for category B (81.00).

It now means that Yego will face three Finns during the world championships in Moscow among them whom he had earlier competed with. Equally competitive javelin throwers from other countries are expected to make surprises in the day six IAAF event in Moscow.

But unfazed Yego, who just secured a place to Moscow national championship’s selection with a new record, has fired warning shots against competitors. In earlier interview at Kasarani Kirwa said his performance has gone higher with the assistance from Finnish training programme.

“My performance has kept improving and I think all this is because of excellent training by Finnish coaches,” said Yego ahead of Moscow competitions. The Kenyan field athlete who was in Finland this summer performed exceptionally well throwing 81.79.

However, he did not match the Finnish javelin throwers Ari Mannio and Teemu Wirkkala who hit 84.65 metres and 82.91 respectively.

Yego’s Finnish manager, Petteri Piironen attributed the result to weather conditions. “I do not know much but may be cold weather but he did above last years’ record in Finland,” said Mr Piironen earlier.

Buoyed by upward performance, Yego hopes to squeeze his throw past world’s best among them Finnish throwers at the 14th World Championship in Moscow starting this week. His Olympic personal best stands at 81.81, a venue where Finns clinched a bronze medal through Antti Ruuskanen.

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Julius Yego javelin throw