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Omanyala eyes top 3 finish at World Indoor Championships

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Omanyala
Ferdinand Omanyala competing in Budapest. PHOTO/NOCK
  • The World Indoor Championships start Friday
  • Omanyala will compete in the 60m dash
  • He reached the semis at the last Championship in 2022

African 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala will be one of the standout athletes to be watched, as the World Indoor Championships gun off in the Scottish capital of Glasgow on Friday.

At the three-day Championship, the Kenyan expected to light up the track after starting his season brilliantly.

Omanyala broke his own national record twice, running 6.52 in winning his first Indoor Meet race in Miramas, before lowering it to 6.51 barely a week later in Paris.

At the last World Indoor Championships in 2022, Omanyala, who was making his debut then, only managed to make the semis but this time, he wants to do better.

“I will not go ahead of myself of course but the ambition is to do well. I have trained really well and I have seen a lot of improvement in my technique and speed and so my expectation is to do well. I will take each race at a time,” Omanyala told SportsLeo from Glasgow.

He will potentially have three races on the opening day of the competition on Friday, with the heats, semis and finals all run on the same day.

Omanyala expects stiff competition 

Omanyala

Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala registered a record in France. Photo/Sports Brief

Competition is expected to be stiff, with the Americans, who are perennial competitors at the Indoors, expected to bring in their A game. One of those to watch is Noah Lyles, who holds the world leading time.

Omanyala however is not afraid of competition. “I definitely know it will be tough but I am ready. Competition always brings the best out of everyone and so I am ready to compete.”

The 28-year old has changed coaches this year, and has chosen to work with Team Kenya speed tactician Geoffrey Kimani.

Omanyala says working with Kimani has greatly improved him and he is looking forward to perform better this season.

“Definitely, if you look at the times I am running, you can see there is an improvement. Running a personal best in my first race of the season shows I am ready and I am at a better place,” Omanyala further noted.

Coach Kimani, speaking in a separate interview said he had changed a bit of Omanyala’s training regime to ensure that he maximizes on his potential.

“There were some concerns about his body work and we knew there were issues that needed to be addressed. His weight was one of them and we needed to bring it down because he was running quite heavy. There were also issued about his training regimen and we needed to address issues about the time he spent in the weight room as well as some physical aspects like mobility,” Kimani said, in an interview with Capital FM Sports.

Kimani explains weight shedding regime 

Omanyala

Ferdinand Omanyala

He added; “Sprinting is about moving from point A to point B as fast as possible and when you are applying the forces on the ground, you need to shed as much armor as possible. It is not about going to the gym to be bigger but to build stronger muscles.”

The bigger picture for Omanyala this year is the Olympic Games, where he looks to be the first Kenyan to ever win a sprint medal. However, for him, he has taken a different approach, and prepares for a race at a time.

“The mentality has changed and I want to focus on each race at a time. At the moment, we are doing the indoors, then I focus on the Diamond League, then prepare for the Olympics. Of course it is at the back of my mind, but I am not thinking about it now,” he added.

Omanyala had a season to remember in 2023, where he won his first ever Diamond League race, reached the final of the World Championships in Budapest and now, he wants to move a step further in 2024.

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