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Omanyala wins second race in South Africa with season’s best time

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Ferdinand Omanyala in action at the Commonwealth Games. PHOTO/Team Kenya
  • Omanyala was competing at the Athletics South Africa Grand Prix
  • He ran a season’s best time
  • He switches attention to the Botswana Grand Prix

Commonwealth Games champion Ferdinand Omanyala clinched his second consecutive victory on foreign soil as he cruised to victory in the second Athletics South Africa Grand Prix in Gauteng on Wednesday night.

Omanyala clocked 10.05secs, his fastest time this season and an improvement from last week’s first grand prix where he clocked 10.16seconds to also win the race. However, he still has not achieved his pre-season target of running in under 10 seconds but he says he feels he is getting closer.

“I am happy to have won in South Africa again. Of course it is sad that I couldn’t get to the sub 10. It is still very elusive but I can feel it coming. I have improved on my time and I feel like I am getting faster and faster. This was a better performance and I can only go lower from here in terms of time,” Omanyala said after the race.

He was a bit slow off the blocks, with the rest of the field reacting quickest. Compatriot Samwel Imeta took a bullet start and had a good footing on the outside, running well to lead until the 60m mark where Omanyala out up his traditional final half kick.

Powered home in the final 40m 

The African record holder powered ahead of the rest of the field to win, with Imeta coming second after clocking 10.22seconds.

After South Africa, Omanyala’s next target is the Botswana Grand Prix, the opening round of the World Athletics Continental Gold Tour.

He believes that he will be in the right shape to battle for his first official sub 10 of the year.

“Botswana will be great and fast. I am looking forward to race there. I know the field will be pretty loaded and I love such kind of fields. I love it when I am under pressure and I am ready to go and do well,” added Omanyala.

After Botswana, Omanyala heads to the United States where he will compete at a meet in Miami before he comes back home to run at the Kip Keino Classic, a leg of the Continental Gold Tour on May 13.

Aim to lower his own African record 

This is his biggest race and he aims to lower his own African record of 9.77secs at the Kasarani Stadium. He set the mark in the same venue two years ago and he believes he can do it again.

After that, Omanyala will switch attention to the Diamond League which will be a precursor to the World Championships later in the year.

“I am really looking forward to Kip Keino and delivering a good performance infront of the home fans. It is a race that I would really want to do well in and the target is to run a new African Record. I train at Kasarani, I love the track and I believe I will be able to battle for that target,” he said.

Omanyala adds; “Ultimately this is building up towards the World Championships and these wins will do a lot to improve my confidence and motivation.”

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