Omanyala hopeful of Olympic selection


Omanyala hopeful of Olympic selection
Ferdinand Omanyala celebrates winning the 100m race during the Athletics Kenya Pre-Trials for Olympics at Nyayo National stadium in Nairobi on May 28, 2021. Photo/Evans odari/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • Olympic hopeful and 100m speedster Ferdinand Omanyala is elated after posting a 10:13 timing in the Athletics Kenya Tokyo Olympics pre-trials in Nairobi
  • Omanyala who had posted almost a similar timeline in South Africa prior to the trials remains calm and optimistic his goal and target of being selected for the Olympics in Tokyo

Olympic hopeful and 100m speedster Ferdinand Omanyala is elated after posting a 10:13 timing in the Athletics Kenya Tokyo Olympics pre-trials in Nairobi.

Omanyala who had posted almost a similar timeline in South Africa prior to the trials remains calm and optimistic his goal and target of being selected for the Olympics in Tokyo.

However it was not all easy for Omanyala from posting 10.17 in the semis, Omanyala held his nerves in the final that saw three false-starts to win in 10.13, beating Uganda’s Benson Okot in 10.37.

In an Interview with Citizen Digital Omanyala remains optimistic he can still clock a sub 10.00 before the Olympic Games if he gets selected in the national team.

“It was a good event and trials heading to the Olympics and future events and given that I had opponents who were equal to the task makes it sweeter to win the event and it motivates me to perform better heading to the Olympics,” he said.

The sprinter who is currently ranked among the top 10 100m sprinters, at ninth in the world and trusts with his current form he can surpass the world record of 9.58 seconds, set by Jamaican legend Usain Bolt in the 2009 IAFF World Championship.

“The Diamond League and World challenge are my main targets before the Olympics and hopefully more races but I just don’t want to pile any pressure to my body givent the positive results I have been posting gives me the morale to perform better and be fitter to compete in the global events,” Omanyala added.

However Omanyala will have to cross his fingers Athletics Kenya and National Olympics Committee of Kenya NOCK select him to the final squad of the travelling team to Tokyo for the Olympics come July.

The 25-year-old had been found guilty of breaching doping regulations, and went on to serve a 14-month ban in 2017 for allegedly using a prohibited substance by the Kenya Anti-doping Agency (Adak).

Athletics Kenya set regulations bars anyone with a past doping violation from representing the country leaving Omanyala in the limbo but hopeful with his recent performance’s they will offer him a second opportunity to race.

The University of Nairobi student has clocked some impressive timing this year with the most memorable one being the Making of Champions (MOC) Grand Prix held three weeks ago at Yabatech Sports Complex in Lagos, Nigeria.

Omanyala went on to set a new national 100m record when he won his semi-final race in 10.01 seconds during the Nigerian event on March 30, erasing Mark Otieno’s previous time of 10.14.

The feat also saw Omanyala surpass the Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying mark of 10.05.

Athletics Kenya have since declined to ratify the time as a national record indicating that the event in Nigeria was not sanctioned.

When asked who between him and friend turn foe Mark Otieno is faster Omanyala was professional to accept the challenge Otieno offers and competing against him only makes him better and faster.

“Between me and Mark, we go way back before we even came to the limelight, he always keeps me on toes because I happen to beat him in some races he beats me in other races but the records are there to confirm,” Omanyala said.

The speedster prior to the trials was clinical in the AGN league meeting in South Africa clocking an impressive 10.06 time to win the 100m race at ease.

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