Kenya shows

Kenya: Omanyala aims for 24-year-old championship record and gold medal in African Athletics Championship final

Nairobi – African record holder Ferdinand Omanyala will line up from lane 6 on Thursday afternoon in the men’s 100m final as he seeks his first ever major title at the African Athletics Championship in Mauritius.

Omanyala was second to none as he sailed literally winning his heat in 10.05 seconds and the semi-finals in 10.07 seconds on Wednesday, and now he is aiming for the championship record of 9.94 seconds set in 1998 and the medal Golden.

“The championship record was set when I was two, so I’m looking forward to beating it in the final. I hope the conditions are perfect, I hope it doesn’t rain and I hope for a race perfect.” Omanyala said after reaching the final.

The record is held by Nigerian Sean Ogunkoya, established in Dakar in 1998.

Having already run a season best 9.86 seconds at the Kip Keino Classic high altitude race in Nairobi, Omanyala is more than capable of lowering the 9.93 second mark.

“I hope to break the record but above all I want to win the African gold medal,” he added.

Meanwhile, Omanyala says the new expectation around his head is not pressure on him but motivation to keep going and give a good performance.

“It’s a motivation because now everyone expects me to run fast. I always want to give people a show and coming here all eyes are on me and everyone is expecting something. It’s something I’ve worked hard for and can’t wait to get to.” giving a good performance,” said Omanyala.

He will come face to face with South African Akani Simbine after already beating him at the South African Championships in Athletics in May. Simbine clocked the closest time to him in the semis, having run 10.09 seconds to win his semi.

Homeboy Bibi Noa, Nigerian Raymond Ekevwo, Cameroonian Emanuel Eseme, Namibian Gilbert Maseko and South African Bruintjies Henricho are the other men at the start of the men’s 100m.

Meanwhile, Omanyala will be in contention for his second medal charge as he leads the Kenyan team for the men’s 4x100m heats which will be the final event of the day.

Kenya will have the opportunity to medal in four events with the women’s 100m, 5,000m and 1,500m finals also scheduled for today.

In the women’s 1500m final, Purity Chepkirui and veteran Winny Chebet will lead Kenya, while Caroline Nyaga and Beatrice Chebet will lead the charge in the women’s 5000m final.

National record holder Maxmilla Imali will compete in the women’s 100m final.

Meanwhile, Nicholas Kiplagat will be Kenya’s solo representative in the men’s 800m while William Seewua and team captain Collins Omae will line up in the men’s 400m semi-finals. Veronica Mutua and Jacinta Shikanda line up in the women’s 400m semi-final.