Uhuru hands squad flag to Team Kenya ahead of World Athletics Championships
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday urged Team Kenya to improve on their performance at the last World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, when they embark on a medal hunt at the latest edition in Eugene, Oregon, the United States from tomorrow.
Uhuru made the plea when he handed over the country’s flag to the team ahead of their departure.
The president handed the national flag to Team Kenya captain, the 2015 world javelin champion, Julius Yego urging the team to uphold the Kenyan standards. He commended the sportsmen and women for bringing pride and honour to the country.
During the last showpiece in Doha, Kenya managed five gold medals two silver medals and four bronze medals.
“There’s no question in the minds of Kenyans that athletics has brought this nation great pride. And this has been made possible through you, because it is you who are the face of this great republic when you are out there. We are truly grateful for the efforts that you put in what you do,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State urged the teams to continue raising the country’s profile high by shining at global events, expressing satisfaction that the athletes were adequately prepared for the championships.
Meanwhile, former world champion Yego says he is fully fit ahead of a fifth consecutive appearance at the biannual championships.
After winning the crown in 2015, a nagging injury saw Yego struggle to finish 13th at the 2017 London World Athletics Championships and failed to register any score after reaching the final of the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha.
Misery was to strike again as Yego failed to go past the preliminary rounds at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games last year.
“I was really down. Quite a few people knew what I was going through. I was losing focus pretty fast. Any time I went back to training, the pain in the groin recurred yet I didn’t want to tell anyone about it save for my doctors,” said Yego.
“My body is okay now, I feel healthy, having regained my strength, speed and fitness,” said Yego as he worked on his techniques at Kasarani ahead of departure to Oregon.
Yego is hoping to make the final even though he knows competition will be stiff with nine throwers registering over 87m efforts this year.
“Anything can happen in the final but it’s my dream to win the world title again. I know what it takes since it will need that big single throw and the rest will take care of itself,” said Yego, who has a season best of 80.62m from the Kenyan trials on June 25.