Ferdinand Omanyala, Mark Otieno, Hellen Syombua pledge to put their best foot forward as they leave for Kurume City

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021 00:00 |
Hellen Syombua (087) was in blistering form in 400m during the national trials. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Ferdinand Omanyala, Mark Otieno and Hellen Syombua pledge to put their best foot forward as they leave for Kurume City ahead of pre-Olympics camp in Japan. Otieno has received a major boost in the form of a Sh1 million sponsorship from Safaricom.

Amos Abuga @Amokc1oo1

Sprinters Ferdinand Omanyala, Mark Otieno and Hellen Syombua became the first batch of Team Kenya track-and-field athletes to leave for Kurume City ahead of pre-Olympic camp in Japan.

The trio were set to depart the country yesterday evening aboard Qatar Airways from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 18:15 hours and are expected to arrive in Doha 23:25 for a layover before connecting to the Asian country.

“I’m feeling great. We’re heading to the airport, it’s becoming real with every second and we are going to show the world what Kenya is made of in sprints,” remarked Omanyala.

Being his first Olympics, he assured the country of great things.  “I am just going there to make it real; I feel fast and strong and all I can tell Kenyans is to be glued on screens and await miracles.’’

Omanyala and Otieno set a national record of 10.02 and 10.05 seconds respectively during Olympics trials and they are still optimistic of achieving better times at the Olympic games.

His counterpart  Otieno expressed his excitement.

“I even missed breakfast!! I am just so excited and strong, I didn’t train today, when I woke up. However my coach is aware but I feel fine.’’ 

The athlete has just received a sponsorship of Sh1 million from Safaricom to allow him afford the best running spikes as part of the sponsorship deal that will also cover his training expenses.

Syombua, the national 400m record holder, says she is excited ahead of the 10-day training training camp as she hopes to bag a medal at the spectacular Olympics podium.

The 23-year-old, whose mark of 51.09 seconds is the fastest in the country, raced to victory in the 400m at the finals of Athletics Kenya National trials which she won in 52.44.

“All I can ask Kenyans to do is pray for me because that’s what we need most. I feel ready and supported,’’ said Syombua.

The new gem in women’s 400m gives Kenya high hopes of winning the elusive women’s short races medal at the Olympic Games slated for July 23 to August 8.

The sprinters will join national women’s volleyball team, Malkia Strikers, and the rugby sevens teams for both genders who have already commenced pre-Olympics camp in Kurume City.

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