- Omanyala won the 100m race in a world leading time
- He had also wanted to bring down his African record
- Sha’Carri Richardson ruled the women’s 200m
Commonwealth Games champion Ferdinand Omanyala lit up the Moi Sports centre Kasarani as he ran a blazing world leading time of 9.84secs to win the 100m contest at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi.
Omanyala blazed past two World Championships silver medalists, Marvin Bracy and Kenny Bednarek both of the United States to clinch the title.
“I am really delighted first for the support. It has been great as always and the Kenyans really came out in large numbers. I am also happy for the win and the performance today as well,” Omanyala said after the race.
“It was great to have my confidence in check as we gear up for the Diamond League next weekend in Rabat and this gives me a lot of confidence,” the African record holder said.
Bednarek ran 9.98 to finish second ahead of his compatriot Marvin Bracy-Williams, who clocked 10.03.
Powerful last 60m
Omanyala had the third fastest reaction time off the blocks, but once he rose his head after 40m, he hit the accelerator and dashed a gap between himself and the rest of the pack.
He had hoped to break his own African record of 9.76secs set at the same event two years ago, and it was clear from his pre-race face game, but he came just milliseconds short.
Meanwhile, American sprint queen Sha’Carri Richardson bossed the women’s 200m, putting daylight between herself and the rest of the pack when she won the race in a comfortable time of 22.07 which ranked as the meeting record.
Compatriots Kyra Jefferson finished second in 22.77, with Shannon Ray running a personal best of 22.82 in third.
Sha’Carri could have won by a better time, but with 30m to go hugely slowed down and started to celebrate as the crowd went wild for her.
“I am really delighted and the crowd was amazing. It was a good race, with a good track and definitely a good atmosphere,” she said after the race.
Twanisha Terry rules the women’s 100m
Meanwhile, in the absence of crowd favourite Shelly-Anne Fraser Pryce, USA’s Twanisha ‘Tee Tee’ Terry ran a wind-assisted 10.86 to win the women’s 100m, while Zoe Hobbs of New Zealand finished second in 10.97. Belgium’s Rani Rosius was third in 11.08.
Among other Kenyan winners in the one-day World Athletics Continental Gold Tour event were Mary Moraa in the women’s 800m, world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech in the women’s steeplechase as well as Emmanuel Wanyonyi in the men’s 800m.
In the steeplechase, Chepkoech had already created a distance between her and the rest of the pack within the first 1000m. World U20 champion Faith Cherotich followed in hot pursuit. The gap between the two stretched, then shrunk, but the order remained the same as Chepkoech crossed the finish line in 9:13.51 and Cherotich followed in 9:15.08, one place ahead of Commonwealth Games champion Jackline Chepkoech in 9:25.63.
In the women’s 800m, Moraa won the battle between her and Netsanet Desta of Ethiopia, as the pair broke away from the rest of the field, but Moraa pulled clear with 50m to go to win in 1:58.83.
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