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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Olympic javelin medalist leads African team to Continental Cup    

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Africa javelin champion Julius Yego is not resting on his laurels as he focuses on the Continental Cup, which will be held in Ostrava in the Czech Republic this weekend.

Speaking in Nairobi, Yego told Xinhua, he is not happy with his performance this season and will seek to prove his critics wrong one more time in Ostrava as he leads the African team to the championships.

Niggling injuries, a road accident and loss of form have taken the wind out of Yego’s sails, but the Olympic javelin silver medalist believes his best throw is yet to come and Ostrava will be the perfect stage to exhibit the magnitude of his strength.

“I am on my way back up. I won the African title in Nigeria, but my 77.3 meters throw was disappointing. Even if I won the title, 77 is not a good distance to throw the javelin for me. I am still working to regain the top form.

“Since last year, I have blown hot and cold because of injuries. It has been a difficult period, but I’m hopeful I can close the season with better results.”

The 2018 IAAF Continental Cup will be held on Sept 8-9 and it brings together athletes from Africa, Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Yego will be part of the 77-member team from Africa aiming to conquer the world. Yego will be joined by South Africa’s Phil-Mar van Rensburg. “I expect to have good results. Over 80 meters will be good for me. I am not at my peak yet, but I must get a season best,” Yego said.

Africa is yet to win the Continental Cup and it finished third in the last three editions.

“Why shouldn’t Africa win this time round. We have strong athletes from Kenya in middle and long distances and Nigeria and South Africa will lead in sprints as well as other West African athletes. We will excel in Ostrava,” he added.

The Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) announced the African team, which features many of the top performers from the recent African Championships in Asaba, Nigeria including world and Olympic steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto. Also at the event is world and Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya, world 1,500m champion Elijah Manangoi and world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri.

Kenya will be represented by only nine athletes in Continental Cup with South Africa having the highest number of athletes (20)  in the team.

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