Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala, Africa’s fastest man, is setting his sights on more record-breaking performances following his remarkable displays at the 2nd AK Track and Field meet held at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, last week.
With his eyes firmly set on the world title later this year and the Olympic crown in 2024, Omanyala is determined to lower his personal best time of 9.77 seconds from 2021, and if his form this season is anything to go by, then the Kenyan sprinter seems well on his way to achieving this feat.
At the 2nd AK Track and Field meeting, the 27-year-old clocked an impressive 9.86 seconds in the heats before returning to run 9.96 seconds in the semi-finals and then smashing his season best with a time of 9.81 seconds in the final.
In the final, Omanyala beat Samuel Imeta, who finished second in 9.94 seconds, and South Africa’s Henricho Brhintes, who came third with a time of 10.22 seconds.
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“I am targeting 9.6 seconds, and I believe it is achievable. This will be the second-fastest all-time record,” said Omanyala in an interview with The Star.
The current men’s 100m world record is held by Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, who set a blistering time of 9.58 seconds at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin in 2009.
However, with his recent form, Omanyala seems poised to challenge the record and possibly even break it.
“I want to train even harder for the next month now that there is no competition. All preparations and targets should be geared towards the South Africa Grand Prix on April 12 and the World Championships in Budapest,” said Omanyala, who won the African championship in 2022 and the Commonwealth Games time in Birmingham last August.
Omanyala’s good form this season is highlighted by his recent 60m record of 6.54 seconds in Lievin earlier this month, where he also beat Olympic 100m champion Lamont Jacobs, the world and European Indoor Championships 60m title holder.
Jacobs will certainly be back to challenge for the world title in Budapest after injuries ended his campaign at Oregon22 last summer, while USA’s world champion Fred Kerley, along with fellow countrymen Christian Coleman, Trayvon Bromell and Marvin Bracy will also be eyeing the gold medal this summer.