Julius Yego
Yego in 2015
Personal information
Nickname(s)Mr. YouTube
Born (1989-01-04) 4 January 1989 (age 32)
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight85 kg (187 lb)
Country Kenya
SportTrack and field
Event(s)Javelin throw
Coached byPetteri Piironen[1]
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)AR, CR 92.72 m (2015)

Julius Yego (born 4 January 1989) is a Kenyan track and field athlete who competes in the javelin throw. Nicknamed "Mr. YouTube" because he learned how to throw by watching YouTube videos of javelin athletes, Yego is the African record and Commonwealth record holder for the event with a personal best of 92.72 m.

He won the javelin title at the All-Africa Games in 2011 and at the African Championships in Athletics in 2012 and 2014; at the 2013 World Championships he placed fourth, losing a medal in the final round. In 2014, he became the first Kenyan to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal in a field event. At the 2015 World Championships he won the gold medal with a throw of 92.72m, becoming the first Kenyan to win a World Championships gold medal in a field event. He won silver at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.


Yego was born in Cheptonon (Soba River) location in Tinderet, Nandi District. He attended high school at Kapsabet Boys High School.[2]

Yego became interested in the javelin throw as a youth and later he watched videos of athletes such as Jan Železný and Andreas Thorkildsen on YouTube to help with his technique and to learn how to train at a gym.[3][4] He competed in the high school regional championships in 2003. In 2006 he won the national junior title and broke the Kenyan junior record with a throw of 67 metres. More renowned for distance runners, Yego quickly ascended to the top of the Kenyan scene.[4] He won his first national title in the javelin at the age of nineteen in 2008 and defended it in both 2009 and 2010.[5]

He earned his first national call up in 2010 and threw a personal best of 74.51 m to take the bronze medal at the 2010 African Championships in Athletics, which was held in Nairobi.[6] He improved his best to 75.44 m at the Kenyan Commonwealth trials.[7] He travelled to New Delhi for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and ended the competition in seventh place with a best throw of 69.60 m. In 2011 he still did not have a throwing coach, due to the lack of popularity of the event in Kenya. Despite this, he won a fourth straight Kenyan title then went to the 2011 All-Africa Games and became Kenya's first ever champion in the event, throwing a Kenyan national record mark of 78.34 m.[3] This bettered Paul Lagat's fourteen-year-old national record (78.20 m). In respect of this achievement the IAAF (the sport's governing body) gave Yego a six-month scholarship to train alongside elite javelin coaches in Europe, with the aim of preparing him for the 2012 London Olympics.[8]

After two months of training at the IAAF-accredited centre in Kuortane, Finland, Yego returned to Kenya in April 2012 and threw a new record of 79.95 m. This was within the Olympic "B" standard for the event and gained him the prospect of becoming the first Kenyan person to compete in the javelin at the Olympics.[9] He improved the Kenyan record at Finnish Elite Games Series event in Kuortane on 22 July 2012, Finland throwing 81.12 metres [10] During the London 2012 Olympics qualifying round, he broke his own national record by 69 cm, to make it 81.81 m. That throw was enough to send him into the final, where he placed 12th.

At the 2013 World Championships in Moscow Yego placed fourth, improving his Kenyan record by more than three metres to 85.40 m. He was the first Kenyan ever to qualify for a field event final at the World Championships, and was in bronze medal position until Russia's Dmitriy Tarabin passed him on his last throw.[11] Track & Field News ranked Yego fifth in the world that year, the first time he'd been ranked in the top 10.[12]

Yego won the javelin at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, beating the reigning Olympic champion, Keshorn Walcott, with a distance of 83.87 m.[13] Yego was the first Kenyan athlete to win a Commonwealth title in a field event.[14] He won a second gold later that summer at the African Championships, throwing a season best 84.72 m and defeating world leader Ihab Abdelrahman El-Sayed of Egypt.[15]

Yego continued his rise in 2015, winning the Ostrava Golden Spike javelin on 26 May with a new Kenyan record of 86.88 m after his best throw was not flagged as a foul by the judges even though his hand touched the line.[16] On 4 June he improved to 87.71 m at the Golden Gala in Rome, placing second behind Vítězslav Veselý. Three days later, Yego won at the British Grand Prix in Birmingham, overtaking Veselý in the last round with a massive throw of 91.39 m; the throw was originally ruled a narrow sector foul, but after his coach requested a remeasurement of the sector angle, the original sector was found to not have been wide enough and the ruling was overturned. Yego's throw was a new African record, and the best in the world since 2006.[17][18] On 26 August Yego won the gold medal at 2015 World Championships with a throw of 92.72m.[19] At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Yego won silver with a throw of 88.24 m, despite only throwing once after picking up a right ankle injury.

International competition record

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing  Kenya
2010 African Championships Nairobi, Kenya 3rd 74.51 m
Commonwealth Games New Delhi, India 7th 69.60 m
2011 All-Africa Games Maputo, Mozambique 1st 78.34 m (NR)
2012 African Championships Porto Novo, Benin 1st 76.68 m
Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 12th 77.15 m
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 4th 85.40 m (NR)
2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow, United Kingdom 1st 83.87 m
African Championships Marrakech, Morocco 1st 84.72 m
2015 World Championships Beijing, China 1st 92.72 m (AR)
2016 Olympic Games Rio De Janeiro, Brazil 2nd 88.24 m
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 13th 76.29 m
2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, Australia 13th (q) 74.55 m
African Championships Asaba, Nigeria 1st 77.34 m
2019 African Games Rabat, Morocco 1st 87.73 m
World Championships Doha, Qatar 8th (q) 83.86 m1
2021 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan 24th (q) 77.34 m

1No mark in the final

Seasonal bests by year


  1. ^ Landells, Steve (18 September 2014). "Finnish advice is the secret to African javelin throwers' success". International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Yego throws himself into global limelight with historic hurl". Daily Nation. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b Makori, Elias (2011-09-17). Rare medals for Kenya as curtain falls on 10th All Africa Games. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-09-17.
  4. ^ a b JTM TALK WITH JULIUS YEGO, KENYAN JAVELIN THROWER. Javelin Thrower Magazine (2012-04-24). Retrieved on 2012-05-03.
  5. ^ Julius Yego. Tilastopaja. Retrieved on 2012-05-03.
  6. ^ Omogbeja, Yomi (2010-08-02). Kenya overtakes Nigeria, Uganda grabs first gold as African Championships ends in Nairobi. Athletics Africa. Retrieved on 2012-05-03.
  7. ^ Mutuota, Mutwiri (2010). Commonwealth Games trials fail to spark. The Standard. Retrieved on 2012-05-03.
  8. ^ Njuguna, William (2011-12-06). Kenya: Yego Lands IAAF Scholarship to Train in Sweden. The Star. Retrieved on 2012-05-03.
  9. ^ Mutuota, Mutwiri (2012-04-17). Distance runners upstaged by a javelin thrower in Kenya!. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-05-03.
  10. ^ IAAF, 22 July 2012 Pitkämäki reaches season's best 84.90m, Torneus breaks Swedish Long Jump record in Kuortane
  11. ^ Jalava, Mirko (18 August 2013). "Report: Men's Javelin final – Moscow 2013". IAAF. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  12. ^ "World Rankings — Men's Javelin" (PDF). Track & Field News. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Glasgow 2014 - Men's Javelin Throw Final". results.glasgow2014.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Julius Yego defies injury to win historic javelin gold in Glasgow". Athletics Weekly. 3 August 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Julius Yego talks to SPIKES about his javelin dream". SPIKES. 11 December 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  16. ^ Murtasaari, Jussi (26 May 2015). "Tapahtuiko Ostravan keihäsillassa moka? IS: Liki 87 metriä kiskaissut Yego astui voittoheiton yli". Savon Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  17. ^ Hollo, Lauri (7 June 2015). "Lex Hollo: Keihäsmies Julius Keniasta" (in Finnish). MTV3. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  18. ^ Korte, Annimari (7 June 2015). "Hirmuheiton 91,39 kiskonut Yego - "Uskon pystyväni heittämään pidemmällekin"" (in Finnish). Yleisradio. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  19. ^ "IAAF World Championschips - Results - Javelin Throw Men - Final" (PDF). IAAF. 26 August 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
Records Preceded byIhab El-Sayed Men's Javelin African Record Holder 7 June 2015 – present Incumbent