Kenya: Fleet-Footed Omanyala Wants to Run Under 10 Seconds

25 January 2021

University of Nairobi student Ferdinand Omanyala has set his sights on running the 100 metres race in under 10 seconds after clocking the fastest time on Kenya soil in the race in the second leg of Athletics Kenya Relays Series at the weekend.

The 25-year-old Bachelor of Science student won the 10th heat of the race in 10.11 seconds on Saturday at Nyayo National Stadium but the time was not ratified as a national record since it was wind-assisted.

Omalla clocked the time at a wind speed of 3.4 metres per second. For the time to qualify as a national record, the speed of wind should be below 2.0m/s.

Mark Otieno therefore still holds the national record over 100m of 10.14 sec which he set in 2017.

Omanyala, who is the reigning national 100 champion, relegated Ian Otieno and Josiah Innocent to second and third places in 11.84sec and 11.96 sec respectively.

"I intend to compete abroad. It's time to go international now," said Omanyala.

"The performance is as a result of the good preseason I had with the Kenya Sevens rugby team in November and December."

Omanyala now targets to run sub-10 seconds in the coming months to attain the Olympic qualifying mark of 10.05 seconds.

"It's a shame my time won't be ratified as a national record but God's time is the best. It will come gradually," said Omanyala.

Omanyala, who has had a tiff with Athletics Kenya over doping issues, hopes that he will finally be allowed to represent the country.

The athlete was banned for 14 months for a doping offence by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) in 2017 and took AK to the Sports Dispute Tribunal after he was barred from taking part in local AK events.

AK had indicated that any athlete being reprimanded for doping will never get to represent Kenya in any championship event, a move that the government strongly backed.

AK's senior vice president, Paul Mutwii who is also in charge of competitions, said athletes coming from doping bans will compete in local and international events but won't be selected for international assignments.

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