- Ferdinand Omanyala has opened up on his lonely athletics journey
- He can’t afford the luxury of having a team of coaches
- He feels that being alone takes a lot of mental toll
Celebrated Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala has opened up on his lonely athletics journey because he has no auxiliary support, thanks to a shoe-string budget he adheres to.
He can’t afford the luxury of having a team of coaches, physiotherapists, nutritionists, and psychologists at his disposal like other professional athletes.
The Kenyan sprinter argues that this is due to the lack of enough resources, which is why he always travels alone.
He spoke to Nation in Rabat, Morocco while waiting to catch his flight to Florence, Italy.
After coming third in the 100-meter sprint at the Diamond League of Rabat on Sunday, he is slated to compete in the Florence Diamond League on Friday.
He feels that being alone takes a lot of mental toll and his plea is for the government to provide more funds to facilitate his facilitation.
“It’s mentally tough to be alone during such tours and it can be lonely but you have to stay strong. We still don’t have enough funds to travel with the whole team and how I wish the government could help,” he said.
His coach Duncan Ayiemba was lucky to be with him in Rabat but he flew back home in Kenya as soon as the Moroccan event was over.
Omanyala proceeded to Florence with his manager Marcel Viljoen and he is hoping that he will redeem himself after losing to American sprinting sensation Fred Kerley.
The Absa Kip Keino Classic champion hopes to rise again, after stumbling in Rabat, to take on an almost similar lineup in Italy.
Kerley affirmed his status when he recovered from a slow start to take the lead from 30m all the way to win in a meet-record time of 9.94 seconds.
Former African 100m champion and record holder, Akani Simbine from South Africa, dipped in seconds and registered 9.99 as Omanyala came third in 10.05.
Omanyala aims for good results at the Florence Diamond League, while Kerley will be looking to retain his title against a rich field that includes home idol and Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs.Jacobs withdrew from Rabat at the last minute due to a lombo sacral nerve block. Jacobs, an Italian sprinter beat Kerley at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, held in 2021 after a postponement due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, at the World Athletics Championships held in Eugene, Oregon, USA, in 2022, Kerley rebounded with a gold medal.
Then, Jacobs withdrew from the competition in the semifinals due to an injury. Ayiemba now says that Omanyala will continue with his Diamond League training regimen in Florence and then in the Paris Diamond League Championships, slated for June 22 to June 24 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
The coach says that travel and training by themselves can have an impact on even the strongest athlete.
Further with a strained budget, there is only so much Omanyala can do. Ayiemba advised the sprinter to focus and watch what he eats especially now that he is all alone.