Omanyala: Athletics Kenya distances itself from sprinter

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021 00:00 |
Ferdinand Omanyala leads the way in a past race at the Nyayo National Stadium. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Ferdinand Omanyala has suffered yet another setback after his national record was rejected by Athletics Kenya (AK).

Omanyala recently shattered the national 100m record when he ran a new mark of 10.01 seconds at the Making of Champions Grand Prix in Lagos, Nigeria, a fortnight ago.

The new mark would have erased 13 seconds off the current national record of 10.14 seconds currently held by national champion Mark Otieno.

However, AK has failed to ratify Omanyala’s mark having consulted their counterparts in Nigeria, the  Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).

In a letter addressed to AK signed by director general  Siminialayi Pepple on behalf of the AFN, the West African federation distanced themselves from the March 30 race.

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. However the time was  adjudged to have been wind assisted.

From the race, Omanyala had already hit the qualification mark for the Tokyo Olympic Games  set at 10.05 seconds which has now gone up in the smoke also

The new development now means, AK may instead ratify Otieno’s new mark of 10.11 he ran on Saturday in Lusaka, Zambia.

Having already completed his doping ban, Omanyala was set to be reinstated by AK to compete in Kenyan colours. However, that too has been quashed by the federation.

AK president Jackson Tuwei reiterated  that  any athlete who has been implicated in a doping offence will never represent the country.

“That will never change. You cheat, you forget about representing the country ever again.,” Tuwei affirmed.

The AK boss further warned athletes against attending races that have not been sanctioned by the federation as it emerged the athlete had not sought clearance from AK to compete in Nigeria.

The University of Nairobi student who  was among the foreigners who graced the competition where he shaved off 13 seconds from the previous record of 10.14 seconds set by Otieno at the 2017 national championships may have been caught in the Nigerian wars.

“Unless there is contrary communication, we are only recognising one faction, the one known by WA,” said Tuwei.

People Sport has established that there are wrangles within the AFN.

On one side is the George Olamide led AFN board which has the backing of the government and that of Shehu Gusau that has the blessings of WA.

The Making of Champions competition was organised by Olamide who is also the vice president in AFN. 

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