YouTube has certainly become a very useful digital learning portal with tutorials on almost anything, from twerking, academic study guides to athletics techniques.

Kenya’s new world champion Julius Yego’s YouTube-inspired story unfolds like a fairytale. The athlete has achieved global fame for winning gold at the World Championships in Beijing, a feat he achieved from watching YouTube videos which he used to refine his javelin technique.

The cop-turned-javelin thrower says he perfected his style after watching clips of Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic and Norwegian Andreas Thorkildsen, who both won Olympic and world titles.

Photo: WangLili/Xinhua
Photo: WangLili/Xinhua
From training without a coach to the golden throw Photo: AP
From training without a coach to the golden throw Photo: AP

Yego’s career started quite modestly and was rather unconventional, training without a coach to guide and motivate him.

In a 2013 video about the athlete’s training habits, he says: “There were no coaches to guide me. I was just alone in the field, training. My father wanted me to give up javelin. Everybody here in Kenya is a runner. I took that as a challenge to find another way to succeed. I started watching videos… I could see that training like these people could improve me”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clUvbObfqz0

Yego says he almost failed to compete in Beijing because of a serious injury. As fate would have it, he managed to compete and his 92.72-meter throw now places him third all-time for longest javelin throw.

Source: BBC