Athletics: Kenyan javelin star Yego 'lucky to be alive' after crash

Kenya's Julius Yego poses on the podium for the Men's Javelin throw final on Aug 20, 2016.
Kenya's Julius Yego poses on the podium for the Men's Javelin throw final on Aug 20, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

NAIROBI (AFP) - Kenya's world javelin champion and Olympic medallist Julius Yego said he was "lucky to be alive" after a car crash.

The 27-year-old athlete was driving to his Eldoret home when his brand-new four-wheel sport utility vehicle collided with a trailer lorry on the busy Nairobi-Eldoret highway on Sunday night.

He was warded in hospital overnight from where he told reporters: "The driver of the trailer made a sudden U-turn in the middle of the road - there was no way I could have avoided him.

"I slammed so hard on the car brakes while hooting at the driver, that I thought I had broken my leg. I am lucky to be alive."

"Yego did not suffer any serious injury, but we decided to keep him in the hospital overnight for further observations," said a doctor at Mediheal hospital in the western city of Eldoret.

Yego became the first Kenyan athlete to win a major field event gold medal at the world championships in Beijing in August 2015.

He followed that up with a silver at August's Rio Olympic Games.

Two years ago, another Kenyan athlete Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1,500m gold medallist was left hospitalised after a near fatal accident when his car went off the road near Eldoret as he was driving home at night.

Road accidents account for the highest number of deaths in Kenya. The poor state of the roads, coupled with speeding are blamed for the heavy toll.