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Kenyan Julius Yego hopeful for another javelin world title in Doha

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Olympic javelin silver medalist Julius Yego is hopeful to revive his career by successfully contesting and reclaiming the world title in Doha, Qatar in 2019.

The 29-year-old said here Thursday that his performance last season was below expectation despite he hurled the javelin over 80 meters to win the Africa championships.

Now he targets to get back to his former form and challenge for the title in Qatar World Championships in October.

"It is always a struggle to regain your fitness.

"I have remained injury free in 2018, but the challenge has been for me to regain my form.

"I may have won the Africa title in Asaba, Nigeria and had a better throw at the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, the Czech Republic.

"But the ultimate goal is to improve to the 90m mark and return to the apex of world javelin," said Yego.

Yego’s worst performance was at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia where he failed to go past the semi-final stage.

He was fourth at the Continental Cup and he believed he will be back at the top when the season starts in March.

"The competition is strong in javelin, but I am happy with my progress since I injured my groin and ankle.

"But in general performance I am not happy because I did not reach the heights I wanted.

"Yes, I won the African Championships in Asaba but I am not yet where I was in 2015 and 2016," said Yego.

Recurring injuries punctured the aura of invincibility that characterized Yego’s performance that led to the world crown in Beijing 2015 and Rio Olympic silver medalist in 2016.

However, the emergence and improved performance from Germans Johannes Vetter and Andreas Hofmann and Olympic champion Thomas Rohler saw Yego limited to the periphery.

There is also the young talent of India’s Neeraj Chopra.

The quartet dominated javelin in 2018.

But Yego drew inspiration from his successful quest to reclaim the Africa title and hoped it will spur him to greater success in 2019.

"The Africa championships was important to me because it gave me the confidence to return to the winner’s podium.

"I want similar treatment at the World Championships and the Diamond League circuit in the buildup to the global premier track and field competition," added Yego.


Kenyan Haron Koech eyes to reclaim world 400m hurdles crown

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Former Africa 400m hurdles bronze medalist Haron Koech is keen to wrest the gold medal at this year’s IAAF World Relays Championships which will be held in Yokohama, Japan in May.

Koech, who is the younger brother to the winner of 400m hurdles at the 2015 IAAF World Championships Nicholas Bett, will return to Turkey where he has signed up a contract with Fenerbahce Istanbul for training.

"I will be participating in club competitions in Turkey next month with my training partner Kiprono Kosgei and this will help me in terms of preparations for the World Relays," said Koech on Saturday in Nairobi.

The 28-year-old Koech is also keen to compete at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar later in the year.

Bett died in a road accident last year, which Koech described as the worst moment for him. Now he wanted to remember his brother by helping Kenya win golds at both the World Relays and World Championships.

Injury forced Bett to relinquish his 400m hurdles title in London in 2017, but Koech believed he has what it takes to claim the title.

Koech is a member of Kenya’s gold medal-winning 4x400 meters relay team at last year’s African Championships in Asaba, Nigeria. He also won silver in the same event in 2016 in Durban, South Africa.

Alongside the Relays and the World Championships, Koech will also be throwing his hat in the ring for the IAAF Diamond League, eyeing the lucrative Diamond Trophy and the Africa Games, which will be held in Morocco in June.



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