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Omanyala confirms he wants to go for African Championship crown

Ferdinand Omanyala competing at the Athletics Kenya National Championship. PHOTO/Capital FM
  • Omanyala holds the African 100m record
  • He says he wants to go for all championships available
  • He will compete at next weekend’s Kip Keino Classic

Ferdinand Omanyala has confirmed that he will battle for a place in the Kenyan team to the African Championships which are scheduled for Mauritius from June 8-12.

The 27-year old says there is no Championship he is leaving behind this season as he looks to build on from the fantastic campaign he had last season.

“I would like to win an African title to complement my record. This season, there is no championship I am leaving behind and I want to medal in all. It has been a great start to the season and I would like to ensure the end is equally good,” Omanyala said.

Omanyala ran an impressive 10.03secs in the heats as the National Championship to select a team to the African showpiece started at the Kasarani Stadium on Tuesday. He looked comfortable as he competed for Kenya Police for the first time.

He wants to go all the way and earn a ticket to the African champs.

Omanyala has already started the season positively, running and winning two races in South Africa, on top of his impressive performances at the World Indoor season.

Ferdinand Omanyala powers to second place in the men’s 100m

“It was really great to start the outdoor season with a sub-10. Now the aim is to keep improving. Running in the indoor season also helped me a lot with my start which was a bit of a problem. Now the focus is there for the season,” said Omanyala.

After the national Championship which ends on Thursday, Omanyala’s next focus will be the Kip Keino Classic next weekend, where he hopes to clinch the title and replicate the performance he had last season.

Omanyala finished second at the World Athletics Continental Gold Tour, setting an African record of 9.77secs as he finished second behind Trayvon Brommell of the United States.

The line up is healthy again this year, with two Olympic silver medalists confirmed for the race.

Fred Kerley who won the 100m silver medal in Tokyo and 200m silver medalist Kenny Bednarek have confirmed participation at the World Athletics Continental Gold Tour meet.

The duo will clash against Omanyala in what is expected to be an epic battle.

Ferdinand Omanyala celebrates his win

“I don’t really feat them but I am excited that we have a very competitive field for the Classic. Of course, running at home I want to give a good show and I want to urge fans to come out in the stadium and support us,” said Omanyala.

He added; “I think that will be a very fast race. I expect a 9.7 or a 9.6 but I am definitely going for a sub 10 performance.”

The Kip Keino Classic is growing in stature and has attracted big names. Apart from the stellar cast in the men’s 100m, the women’s race has also attracted a talented field with American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson and Jamaican sprint queen Shelly-Anne Fraser Pryce confirmed for the women’s race.

“We are attracting the very top athletes in the world, and this goes to show just how high Kenya is placed as an athletics destination in the world. This year we expect a very competitive event and successful as well. We want to show the world that we can host big names here,” said Athletics Kenya boss Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei.

Kenya hopes to use another success of the third edition of the Kip Classic to lobby for the hosting of the 2025 World Athletics Championship.

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