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Ferdinand Omanyala breaks national 60m record in France

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Ferdinand Omanyala anchors the Kenyan team at the Commonwealth Games. PHOTO/Team Kenya
  • Omanyala clocked 6.54 seconds to win
  • He has broken the record twice in a week
  • He has been in France for three weeks

Commonwealth Games champion Ferdinand Omanyala broke the national 60m record for the second time in a week after clocking 6.54secs to win the Lievin leg of the World Indoor Tour in France on Wednesday night.

Omanyala had previously set a mark of 6.55secs last week to lower his own record. He first ran the record last year, also in France, where he clocked 6.60secs.

“I am really delighted. This was a great performance and a great Indoor Tour. I have always felt that my body was in good shape and now I am seeing the fruits on the track. It is time to work even harder,” Omanyala said after the race.

The Kenyan is now a national and African record holder in both the 60m indoor and the 100m outdoor.

In Lievin, Omanyala showed he was in great shape in the Heats, when he eased to victory in a quick time of 6.58secs. But still, he looked super relaxed as he casually crossed the finish line with a grin.

In the final, he burst through the pace in the final 30m of the race to beat reigning Olympic and World Indoor champion Marcell Jacobs of Italy. He had a slower reaction time off the blocks, but he made that up with a super burst of pace once he hit the hallway point.

Olympic champion Jacobs finishes second 

The Italian who has battled injury and fitness issues since winning in Tokyo 2020 timed 6.57 at second place with Ivorian Arthur Cisse third timing 6.59.

Omanyala now flies back home this week with his focus shifting to the indoor season and his first race will be at the Nairobi leg of the Athletics Kenya National Series at the end of the month.

Omanyala also hopes to run some Diamond League races and Continental Tour events before the World Championships later on in the year.

“At the moment my management is working to see where we will run, but I am hoping that I can get one or two invites to Diamond League races because that has been my ultimate dream. I have worked hard for it and hopefully I can be there,” he said.

Last year, Omanyala who won Kenya’s first sprint Commonwealth medal in more than 60 years ran only the Continental Gold and Silver Tour events, but never landed an invite for the Diamond League. He hopes to have it different this time.

Meanwhile, also in Lievin, two Kenyans ran personal best times.

Moraa sets new Personal Best time 

Commonwealth Games 800m champion Mary Moraa played second fiddle to Briton Keeley Hodgkinson for most of the race to finish at second spot in a new personal best time of 2:00.61 with the Briton winning in 1:57.71, a world leading time.

Moraa improved from her first Indoor meet of the year early this month where she finished fourth last week in Torun, Poland where she clocked 2:01.51.

Meanwhile in the men’s 3,000m, Jacob Krop also ran a new personal best as he finished third in 7:31.35, in a race won by Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma who ran a new world indoor record.

The Ethiopian clocked clocked 7:23.81 to win the race and lower Kenya’s Daniel Komen’s record of 7:24.90 set in Budapest in February 1998.

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