Fastest man in Kenya

Thursday, April 1st, 2021 00:00 |
Ferdinand Omanyala posses with the unofficial record time at Nyayo Stadium in January. INSET: Omanyala crosses the finish line during the second leg of the AK Relay series at Nyayo Stadium in January. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

New 100m national record holder Ferdinand Omanyala is aiming at clocking faster times in the near future.

Omanyala on Tuesday clocked 10.01 seconds at the Making of Champions (MOC) Grand Prix in Lagos, Nigeria to become the fastest man in Kenya.

“At the start of the year, I felt something special was coming. I kept my faith and kept going,” Omanyala told People Sport yesterday.

While the new mark still awaits the ratification from Athletics Kenya (AK) to be officially recognised as a national record, Omanyala is already challenging himself to do better.

“I want to keep pushing myself even further. I am a firm believer of hard work and putting focus in whatever I have set my targets on,” said the University of Nairobi student who was among the foreigners who graced the Lagos competition.

In Lagos, he slashed off 13 seconds from the previous record of 10.14 seconds set by his rival Mark Otieno at the 2017 national championships.

The two-day meet that also attracted foreign athletes from Togo and Benin also provided the participating athletes with an opportunity to secure qualification for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.

Of importance was that Omanyala became the first Kenyan to hit the qualification mark for the Games set at 10.05 seconds.

The in-form athlete had set an unofficial record 10.11 seconds at the second leg of AK relays series held at the Nyayo stadium in January.

Earlier this month, Omanyala had clocked 10.40 seconds over the distance at the second track and field series held at Kasarani, a race where Otieno reigned supreme in 10.24 seconds.

Despite hitting the qualifying standard for the Summer Games it remains to be seen if AK will clear the athlete to compete for the country owing to a previous doping issue.

Having already completed his doping ban, the athlete is yet to be reinstated by the federation to compete in Kenyan colours.

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