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Olympic javelin silver medallist: Enough with this captain armband issue

ATHLETICS By Stephen Rutto | July 6th 2021
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 20/08/2016. Julius Yego (KEN) of Kenya competes. REUTERS

Before his resignation as team Kenya captain yesterday, Olympic javelin silver medallist Julius Yego had already waded into controversy.

The former world champion had fallen out with Team Kenya management on Friday, after he took to Facebook to express his frustrations over what he claimed was training without a coach at the Tokyo Games team pre-departure camp in Kasarani, Nairobi.

And yesterday, Yego, again, took to social media to renounce his captaincy, leaving the prestigious position to former world 800m champion Eunice Sum.

This was after the javelin thrower posted: “So far, so good but disappointed that I am training solely and lonely, no coach. I think some day in the future when I am (sic) retired, some people will be happy that no one who ‘complain’ (sic ) is not in the Team Kenya."

On Sunday, Team Kenya’s Tokyo Olympics general manager Barnaba Korir dismissed Yego’s social media outbursts as 'insincere'.

Yesterday, as he relinquished the position, Yego claimed the environment he is operating in as a team captain was unfavourable.

"Hello my fans, I want to take (this) opportunity to say I will disappoint you and renounce my captaincy for Team Kenya to Tokyo. The environment for me to be the captain aren’t favourable for me to lead this team,” Yego wrote on Facebook.

“I am sorry also to disappoint them (Team Kenya) for not being able to continue to lead after they chose me initially but they know why I have made this decision,”

He said he will leave the position to Sum, promising to remain an active member of the team and offer help where necessary.

Korir said Yego’s coach was free to train him, but will he won't travel with the javelin thrower to Tokyo because late entries will not be allowed. 

The general manager asked Yego to stop complaining about the matter on social media before engaging team Kenya management. 

“Every athlete heading to Tokyo was expected to provide names of their officials. Even officials from the Ministry of Sports were asked to give details of officials who will be going to Tokyo. But he (Yego) didn’t give details of his coach,” Korir said on Sunday evening.

“We also allowed his (Yego’s) coach to come to camp and train him until his departure to Tokyo. But he (the coach) has not reported.”

Korir claimed that Yego has not been taking his training seriously.

“He (Yego) secured a Sh400,000 sponsorship to train in South Africa in preparation for the Olympic Games, but he didn’t travel. The government was ready to pay for athletes to prepare well for the Olympics,” Korir said.

Yego, however, responded that he provided his coach, Joseph Mosonik’s details to AK officials, but he (Mosonik) was yet to show up at the camp.

Yego confirmed that he received Sh400,000 as sponsorship money but did not travel to South Africa due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Benjamin Njoga, the athletics Olympic team manager, said it was unfortunate for Yego to opt to make unnecessary claims in the social media.

"I had informed Yego that we had made arrangements to have his coach at the camp. The coach reported late due to personal reasons."

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