Ferdinand Omanyala closed out the 2022 Kip Keino Classic – 2022 World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series meeting in Nairobi on Saturday (7) exactly the way the Kenyan fans wanted, upsetting Olympic silver medalist Fred Kerley to win the men’s 100m.
The race, however, went off without Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs, who withdrew at the last minute with stomach problems that forced him into the hospital. Read more: Video: Fraser-Pryce runs 10.67 at the 2022 Kip Keino Classic!
Omanyala out powers Kerley at 2022 Kip Keino Classic
After the field survived some nervous moments after what turned out to be a faulty start, Omanyala used a good start to get a jump on the rest of the field and then pulled away from Kerley in the closing meters to win in a world-leading time of 9.85 seconds.
The Kenyan who before Saturday’s race had a season’s best of 9.98 secs, set last month in Potchefstroom, improved that mark comfortably while producing the third-fastest time of his career.
Omanyala ran his personal best of 9.77 seconds when finishing second at the 2021 Kip Keino Classic meeting when it was held in September last year, so he would be delighted to cop the victory this time for the home fans.
Kerley, in the meantime, posted a season’s best of 9.92 secs for second place and the Olympic silver medalist seemed a little disappointed after telling reporters ahead of the race in midweek that he was targeting a fast time.
His fellow American countryman Isiah Young stopped the clock at a season’s best of 10.13 for third place, the same time credited to Henricho Bruintjies of South Africa, while Liberian Emmanuel Matadi (10.14) and USA’s Kenneth Bednarek (10.15) followed.
Marcell Jacobs misses out with stomach issues
The Kenyan fans, though delighted with the victory by Omanyala, were very disappointed about not being able to see the Olympic champion from the 2021 Tokyo Games race at the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani, this weekend.
Jacobs was excited about his long-awaited return to the track to take on both Kerley and Omanyala, but the Italian withdrew from the meeting after complaining about stomach problems overnight and needed to be taken to the hospital.
Earlier, Jamaican two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce posted the fastest 100m time in the world this year when she flashed to 10.67 seconds to win the women’s race at the 2022 Kip Keino Classic.
The race in Nairobi on Saturday was her 100m season debut after she opened the 2022 campaign a couple of weeks ago at home in Kingston, Jamaica, with a comfortable 200m second-place finish.
VIDEO CAPTURED IMAGE: Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya celebrates at the 2022 Kip Keino Classic (Photo by FloTrack)