Julius Yego has stepped down from his role as Team Kenya captain ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, a decision that points to a fallout between the star athlete and team officials.
The 32-year old athlete, who competes in the javelin throw made the announcement on July 5, 2021, 18 days before the start of the global sporting showpiece in Japan.
“I will disappoint you and renounce my captaincy for Team Kenya to Tokyo athletics team,” he explained in a statement on his social media pages.
Before adding: “The environment for me to be the captain arent favourable for me to lead this team.”
Yego also appeared to overstep his mandate by selecting his successor.
“We will choose a new captain in due course but Eunice Sum will lead us until we elect a new captain,” he suggested.
Yego’s decision comes on a day Team Kenya General Manager Baranaba Korir publicly accused him of engaging in’in too much activism’
“The same people he is accusing are the ones who ensured he got Sh400,000 funding from IOC (International Olympic Committee) so as to train in South Africa in preparation for the Olympic Games but he did not travel. The government was ready to match the IOC funding for the athlete to prepare well for the Olympics,” Korir told the Standard.
The athlete has gone through poor form in the past year and will have to significantly improve to stand a chance of winning a medal in Tokyo.
Besides Tokyo, Kenya is expected to send a star-studded team to the Olympics including short, middle and long-distance athletes, the men and women national rugby team, plus the women volleyball team.
Despite emerging as the best African country at the 2016 Olympics in Rio with 16 medals, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed says Kenya will be all out to better on both the medal haul and 15th position (out of 86 countries) attained in South America.