Q&A with… Julius Yego

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Country: Kenya

Profession: Athlete – Javelin

Julius made history by becoming the first Kenyan to win a field event gold medal at the 2015 World Championships. He then went on to become the first African male javelin thrower to win an Olympic medal when he won the silver at the 2016 Rio Games. Julius has a personal best of 92.72m and is the current African and Commonwealth record holder.  He is affectionately known as Mr YouTube, having learnt javelin by watching YouTube videos. He is currently a board member of the Athletes Association, is an Arsenal fan, and a father of 2 boys.

What has been a defining moment in your career?

My defining moment was more a period of time than one moment. It was when I first started, I had no coach, no facilities and used to train alone. I had to push myself in the face of a myriad of challenges. But this taught me persistence and resilience and laid the foundation for my success.

What was the first thought that went through your mind when you heard the Tokyo Olympics had been postponed?

It was a very hard pill to swallow, and I found it difficult to accept it at the time. But there was nothing I could do about it and so slowly I came to accept and re-focus.

What is your greatest extravagance?

The love of iPhones – I have to buy each and every new model🤣🤣🤣

Which superpower would you like to have and why?

I would love to have the power to heal. I have had to go through a number of injuries and it would have been great to be able to heal myself!

Also, to have the power to help my fellow athletes in times of trouble and ensure they are always treated fairly.

When under pressure, what do you say to yourself to help you get through it?

I love pressure because it can bring out the best in me. I always tell myself that the pressure moments are what make all the struggles worthwhile, and it is an opportunity to show character and belief (rather than worrying about failing).

What three things you would take with you if had to be stranded on a desert island for a year

My sons, my iPhone and food.