The Fastest Man in Africa Omanyala Changes Gears and Heads to Birmingham

As he prepares to compete in the Commonwealth Games, African 100-meter champion Ferdinand Omanyala has put his World Athletics Championships disappointment behind him.

Omanyala, who competed in the 100-meter semifinals at the current World Athletics Championships in Oregon, United States, was scheduled to depart Oregon on Thursday in order to travel to Birmingham, United Kingdom, for the upcoming “Club” Games, which begin on Thursday of the following week.

“My target remains the same…to win gold with 9.7 seconds,“ declared Omanyala, who lived up to the billing to wrestle the Africa title from South Africa’s Akani Simbine during the continental event last month in Mauritius.

In a close finish, Omanyala defeated Simbine, the 100-meter winner at the Commonwealth Games, with both athletes clocking times of 9.93 seconds on June 9 at the Cote d’Or National Sports Complex.

Omanyala, who was late for his races due to a Visa issue and appeared exhausted, placed third in his heat on July 15 in 10.10 seconds. Despite this, he advanced to the semi-finals on July 16, where he finished fifth in 10.14 seconds, and was eliminated.

Simbine easily advanced as one of the best losers as he finished fourth in his heat with a time of 10.07 seconds.

The American Fred Kerley, whom Omanyala had defeated at the Kip Keino Classic, took first place in the final in 9.86 seconds, but the South African was scorching hot when he won his semi-final heat in 9.97 seconds on July 16.

On May 7 at the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani, Omanyala won the Kip Keino Classic with a time of 9.85 seconds, beating Kerley into second place with 9.92 seconds.

When he finished behind American Trayvon Bromell in 9.76 seconds last year, Omanyala set a new African Record with a time of 9.77. The previous record, held by Simbine, was 9.84 seconds.

“Unlike the world event, I will have a good time to acclimatise before the races in Birmingham. I have recovered fully, I’m now polishing my starts,” said Omanyala, 26.

“It has been a great five days and no lie. I met different people and interacted with so many of them. This is the first time I got to stay after I only made a stopover in New York on my way to the 2017 World Relays in Bahamas,” said Omanyala.

The men’s and women’s marathons kick off the athletics program on July 30, opening the door for track sessions from August 2 to 7. On August 2, the men’s 100-meter heats will be followed by the semifinals and finals.

The first group of Team Kenya athletes fly out for the Games on Friday, and the last team is scheduled to depart on Monday in time for the opening ceremony on Thursday, while Omanyala and some of his coworkers connect to Birmingham.

At the Birmingham Games, Kenya will be represented by 127 competitors from the sports of paracycling, boxing, squash, hockey, badminton, cycling, swimming, 3-on-3 basketball, table tennis, and lawn bowls.

What do you think?

Written by Esther Oyugi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

‘State capture’ will be dealt with by William Ruto if elected president.

Traders are seeking more than Sh175million from the government to cover the reduction of the cost of maize flour to Sh100.