He repaid their faith with a national record of 78.20m to become the first Kenyan to win javelin gold at the All-Africa Games.
It also led to an invite from the IAAF, the world governing body of track and field, to go on a six-month scholarship to its center in Kuortane, Finland, the traditional home of javelin.
Returning in the spring of 2012, Yego achieved the qualifying mark for the London Olympics and threw further than 80m for the first time later in the summer.
Now he could not be ignored by the Kenyan selectors and his dream was about to become reality, admittedly as the only field event athlete in a 44-strong team.
"My Olympic experience is something I will never forget. I'm an Olympian now, not everyone can be Olympian," he said.
Like many top Kenyan athletes, Yego has a job with the national police force, but is allowed ample time to train between four to five hours per day, working on specialist exercises in the gym, jumps over hurdles and a throwing routine.
"Javelin requires a combination of speed, skill and power, and if you don't combine all of them, you cannot get it right," he said.
"I was born with the talent, but the skills I have had to work on."
Thorkildsen remains his reference point.
"Andreas is a unique guy, he's very skilful," Yego said. "He does some gymnastics (in training) you cannot do.
"When I watch his squats he's doing almost 200 kg and I was doing 90, so you can see it's a very big range, but now I'm doing 150.
"When I read his biography, he started training when he was just 11, so you can see he's far ahead of everybody."
Still battling the lack of specialist facilities, Yego goes it alone, spending hours every day training at the Kasarani stadium in Nairobi.
"What I love about the javelin, when you throw and you hit it right, when it's flying in the sky, you feel so nice."