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Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala misses out on top 3 at World Indoors

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Omanyala
Ferdinand Omanyala competes at teh World Indoor Championships in Glasgow. PHOTO/World Athletics.
  • Omanyala finished fourth in the final
  • America’s Chris Coleman won the race
  • Kenyans made teh final in the 800m and 1500m

Commonwealth Games champion Ferdinand Omanyala missed out on a podium place at the World Indoor Championships which started in Glasgow, Scotland on Friday, after finishing fourth in the 60m race won by USA’s Christian Coleman.

Omanyala clocked 6.56 in the final, where Coleman clocked a world leading time of 6.41 to win the gold medal, outsprinting compatriot Noah Lyles who timed 6.44. Coleman reclaimed the crown he lost to Lyles at the last World indoors in Belgrade, Serbia, in 2022.

Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake finished third for the bronze, in 6.46.

Omanyala had started the competition well, first winning his qualifier heat in 6.52, equaling his second fastest time ever over the distance.

Despite an erratic run that saw him wobble off his lane, he managed to come home first, after an explosive start off the blocks. He narrowly beat Japanese Shuhei Tada who finished behind him, with a microsecond difference. Tada had managed to cover ground between him and Omanyala over the last 30m, but luckily, the Kenyan had a good lead already covered.

Despite stepping off his lane, Omanyala was not disqualified from the race as the 60m dash is on a straight line and hence on advantage can be picked by sliding into a different late.

Omanyala equals second fastest career time 

Omanyala

Ferdinand Omanyala competing in Budapest. PHOTO/NOCK

His time of 6.52 equals his second fastest time ever, having run the same time in his first Indoor meet of the season in Miramas three weeks ago. His national record and personal best time is 6:51, set in Paris a week after the run in Miramas.

In the semis, he was in the same heat with Coleman, and there was always going to be a competitive burst between the two. Omanyala once again had an explosive start from the blocks and he came second in the same time, with Coleman winning the race in 6.47.

“It was a good outing, of course many lessons to learn to be better. I am glad I improved from the last time and now the focus shifts to the outdoor season. Let’s see what we can achieve there,” Omanyala said after the race.

He will now shift his attention to the Diamond League, before the Olympic Games in Paris in August. Omanyala hopes he can also get to another global final, with an Olympic medal being his biggest career target.

Meanwhile in other races, only Vivian Chebet qualified to the semis in the 800m after finishing in a non-automatic qualifying slot while Collins Kipruto, Noah Kibet and Naomi Korir all missed out.

Chebet will compete in the semis on Saturday afternoon, where she has been allocated to the first heat and will compete alongside Ethiopia’s Tsiye Duguma and Jamaica’s Natoya Goule in a competitive pool.

Kenyans finish outside top three

Jemma Reekie

Jemma reekie of Great Britain posted the quickest time in the women’s 800m race. PHOTO/World Athletics/X

In the preliminary round races, all the four Kenyans finished outside the automatic two qualification slots and had to wait through the ‘q-room’ to see if they could squeeze into the non-automatic slots and only Vivian managed.

She finished third in her heat in a new personal best time of 2:00.86 in a heat won by Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu while Jamaica’s Nayoya Goule was second. Korir was meanwhile fourth in her heat in 2:03.31.

In the men’s race, Kipruto clocked 1:46.89 to finish third and looked all set to move into the semis on a small q, but the last heat was faster, eliminating him from the list. Kibet was also third in his heat, clocking 1:46.90.

The only Kenyan winner of the night was Vincent Keter, the solo flier in the men’s 1500m where he won his heat his heat in a time of 3:38.96.

Kenya will also have a chance of winning its first medal in Glasgow on Saturday night with the final of the women’s 3,000m.

Teresiah Muthoni Gateri and steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech will lead the Kenyan hunt.

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