Tokyo — Fresh from smashing the National 100m record at the Tokyo 2020 Games, Ferdinand Omanyala says his Olympic dream has not evaporated yet despite missing by a whisker to reach the historic final.
The star sprinter says he will use next season's gigantic championship events; the World Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games as part of a campaign to "build the foundations" for his intended sub-10.
Omanyala, who is enjoying top form after equaling his national record (10.01) during the Heats at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday before setting a new record of 10.0 on Sunday, added that he hopes to hone his racing prowess at the Diamond League in the next three years before returning for the Olympics Games in Paris 2024.
"I would have loved to be ranked top 8 in the world if I had reached the finals today but I am glad with the achievement I have made so far. I am ranked number 9th overall in the semis so I missed it like by one position, but all the same, I'm very proud of myself."
Omanyala reckons that his Tokyo 2020 Summer Games experience and performance is very big stepping stone into the next Games "and getting there I want to even keep preparing more so that I can come and get into the finals easily"
"Right now, I just want to keep on training and improve on my times as my target still remains running a sub10. My Coach Duncan Ayiemba has been awesome and we will be working to achieve higher limits together," Omanyala added.
Omanyala is urging young budding sprinters to believe in a world of possibilities and discard the notion that Kenyans can only run in long- and middle-distance races.
"To the young sprinters, so long as you can believe in something that is what matters and take it up; if you believe your fast you are fast. So just come and work hard and believe that sprinting is a race of possibilities," Omanyala advised.
Omanyala added that his sub-10 aspirations are far from over and that it's just the beginning of better things to come.
"Obviously the sub 10 remains my dream. I want to be the first Kenyan to achieve this as I have been dreaming of it ever since I started running sprints. Any race that I am getting next I want to run a sub-10. Usain Bolt was in a different level because he was jogging 9.85s but let's say the game is now at an equal pace and we are at the same level now," Omanyala stated.
-Thankful to the Kenyan fans-
Omanyala says he will remain forever thankful for the huge home support he has received thus far.
"I wish to thank my fans for their support. I have been keeping tabs with them on social media and I must admit I'm very humbled and motivated just how people have come to believe in me," he appreciated.
"My sponsor Odibet and Kenyan media have extended some massive support towards my Tokyo campaign and what they have given me this year has really come in handy. Stage fright was not part of my vocabulary in Tokyo."
'I didn't fear anybody. I just came into this race knowing that I will come to run my best and on the other side I also wanted to beat them I'm so proud of beating the likes of Yohan Blake of Jamaica. The weather is fine here. The tartan was really fast I could feel it," the bubbly Omanyala described.
Omanyala noted that the strength and conditioning by coach Geoffrey Kimani is part of his success as he helped him learn how to accelerate.
"Kimani has really helped on my acceleration because we have been working on it since I joined the camp in Nairobi and Kurume City and I have seen a big improvement.
It's a big thing to get to the semis of an Olympic and what I can say is that it's only in the mind, the mental aspects and what you believe in is what you achieve."