Kenyan Yego qualifies for Olympic javelin final
8/9/2012 1:00:01 AM -
LONDON (AFP) - Kenyan Julius Yego threw a new national record of 81.81 metres on Wednesday to qualify for the men's Olympic javelin final at the weekend.
Yego, who was forced to study YouTube videos of his rivals as his country has no traditional strength in the sport, qualified in ninth spot out of the 12 finalists who made it through from two heats.
The 23-year-old policeman stands the smallest of all the men entered into the javelin, at just 1.75m tall and weighing 85kg.
Yet he nailed all three attempts in front of a vocal 80,000-capacity crowd at the Olympic Stadium, first landing 79.10m, before improving to 79.33 and finally marking the new personal best of 81.81m on his final effort.
Yego qualified for the London Games after throwing 79.95m to clear the Olympic B-Standard of 79.50m.
That came after a two-month training camp in Finland, where the javelin is far more visible a sport than in Kenya, where running is king.
But Yego will likely be hard pushed in his bid to go for a podium placing, up against the giant likes of in-form Czech Vitezslav Vesely, Norwegian defending Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen and former world champion Tero Pitkamaki of Finland.