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Omanyala earns maiden Diamond League victory in Monaco

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Omanyala
Ferdinand Omanyala competing at the Monaco Diamond League. (Photo- Ferdinand Omanyala/Twitter)
  • Omanyala was running his fourth Diamond League race
  • He beat Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo
  • He will head to Austria for another race next weekend

 Commonwealth champion and African record holder Ferdinand Omanyala won his first ever Diamond League race at the Monaco leg on Friday night, edging out Botswana’s 22-year old Letsile Tebogo by a hundredth of a second.

He won the race in a time of 9.92, the youngster coming in second with 9.93.

“The start wasn’t as good as I expected but either way a win is a win. That is the fastest time in the Diamond League this season and I am really pleased for it. I am also excited to have become the first ever Kenyan to win the 100m race in the Diamond League,” Omanyala said after the race.

The Kenyan who was competing in his ninth race this season improved his bid towards winning the Diamond League trophy, with the victory.

Thevictory took him to 28 points, same as South Africa’s Akani Simbine who withdrew from the race in Monaco in the eleventh hour and was replaced by Artrhur Cisse of the Ivory Coast. A top two finish in his last Diamond League meeting in Eugene, after the World Championships will complete his dream for a Diamond Trophy win.

He finished in third place in his debut in Rabat, then went on for a pair of second place finishes in Rome and Paris, losing both to world champion Fred Kerley.

Switch attention to World Championships 

Meanwhile, Omanyala who has run two of the three quickest times in the world this year, will switch his attention to the World Championships where he hopes to medal and hopefully win for the first time ever.

“Going into Budapest, I want to make sure I put in the work and check that the speed is good and the confidence is there. I am a good championship runner and I am looking forward to Budapest,” he said.

Omanyala added; “I am aiming to run 9.6. The aim is to get to the final. I will tackle the heats, the semis well and once I am in the final, I will give it a good push.”

Omanyala is looking to write more history. Last year, he became the first ever Kenyan in over 60 years to win a sprint medal at the Commonwealth Games, just after his disappointment of failing to get to the final of the World Championships after late arrival in Eugene due to visa problems.

This time round, he hopes that the Worlds can offer him the solace and history he craves for.

“I am very ready this time. I got my visa (to Budapest) over a year ago and I am ready for the Worlds. I have trained well, prepared well and my body is in good shape,” he added.

Omanyala has admitted that competition will be tough especially from the Americans, with reigning world champion Kerley in good shape while compatriot Noah Lyles is also doing well in the same distance.

He however says he is not afraid of competition and is ready to battle them in Eugene.

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