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This athlete used YouTube to smash world records
08:06 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Julius Yego is a World Champion javelin thrower

He is the African and Commonwealth record holder for the event

When he couldn't find a trainer he turned to YouTube

He is hoping to hit it big at the Rio games

CNN  — 

When Julius Yego couldn’t find a coach he turned to the internet to find one, and he did–YouTube.

The 27 year old is now a World Champion hoping to hit it big in Rio.

“I have passion for javelin throw, I think somewhere in my blood is written javelin,” Yego told CNN.

Yego began setting javelin records at school, but a lack of funds came between him and his dreams. After qualifying for the World Junior Championships in Poland, he could not attend the competition because he didn’t have the money.

Turning to YouTube

“It was so frustrating because I had worked so hard,” he said. “It was a big regret for me.”

Undeterred he searched for a new way to get ahead, turning to YouTube to learn from the best throwers in the world.

“First time I was in YouTube is 2009, when I was now getting serious about training and I didn’t have a coach,” he explained. “Nobody was there for me to see if I was doing well or not, so I went to the cybercafe.”

Through the internet Yego was able to see how the greats trained, and devise his own regime.

“I needed to go and see what these guys were doing,” he continued. “…the kind of training they had, the kind of training they were doing in the gym.”

His online training paid off.

At the 2011 All Africa Games Yego became the first Kenyan to win a title in a field event. When journalists wanted to interview Yego’s coach the secret of his success was revealed.

“They wanted to interview my coach to know what I did before the competitions, the championships. By then seriously I didn’t have a coach. I didn’t go with a coach,” he said. “Then they asked me, ‘Who is your coach,’ and then I told them, ‘YouTube.’”

Eyes on Rio

All eyes are on Yego as he heads to Rio, he finished 12th at the 2012 Olympics, but went on finish first in the African Championships in 2014 and the 2015 World Championships respectively.

“For me the main challenge is training without a coach most of my time,” he continued. “The coach I am with is staying in Finland. I’m not able to pay for him to come and stay with me because that is so expensive.”

Yego has proven that with enough hard work, passion, and a little unconventional coaching, achieving success is possible.

Looking ahead, Yego has have high hopes for another aspiring athlete, his son.

This time he won’t be turning to the internet for help. “He’s going to be very good, he said. “Maybe better than me. He will not struggle to have a coach.”