How Ferdinand Omanyala Beat Akani Simbine Using Photo Finish Rule but Why His Record Won’t Be Ratified

How Ferdinand Omanyala Beat Akani Simbine Using Photo Finish Rule but Why His Record Won’t Be Ratified

Martin Moses
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:04 PM
  • Ferdinand Omanyala became the second-ever Kenyan to win the Africa 100 metres title after edging the defending champion Akani Simbine in Mauritius
  • Omanyala’s record is however subject to ratification as World Athletics rules don’t allow wind-assisted time to be part of official records
  • Sports Brief also takes a look at why Omanyala was declared the winner despite Simbine seemingly crossing the line first, in a rule called the photo finish

Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala finally bagged his dream of becoming an African champion. Omanyala beat the outgoing champion Akani Simbine from South Africa in the ongoing Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Mauritius.

It was a close call with Omanyala edging Simbine in what is called a photo-finish. The home hero crossed the line with 9.927 seconds to beat SImbine’s 9.930 in one of the closest races in history.

Ferdinand Omanyala, Akani Simbine, Africa Athletics Championships.
New Africa 100 metres champion Ferdinand Omanyala and his predecessor, Akani Simbine. Photo by Fabien Dubessay.
Source: Getty Images

Capital Sports reports that despite Omanyala running a lower time than the Championship record set by Nigerian Sean Ogukonya in 1998, his record won’t be ratified cause it was wind-assisted.

The World Athletics Records and lists explain in Section 2 Part 2 under Stadium events that:

Performances which are wind-assisted or for which a wind reading is not available will be considered illegal. They shall be eligible for world rankings subject to a correction mechanism.

The official time Omanyala used will now be subject to ratification by the world governing body for Athletics.

It is also the same rule that was applied when Eliud Kipchoge became the first human being to run a marathon in under two hours in Vienna, Austria in 2019. The race was run under special conditions and therefore it wasn’t recorded as an official world record.

There was also a dispute from Simbine’s camp as to why Omanyala was declared the winner despite Simbine’s head crossing the line first. The photo-finish rule was used to decide the new winner.

The rule stipulates that in case two or more athletes cross the line at the same time as seen by the naked eye, the athlete whose torso crossed the line first will be declared the winner. The rule was also applied in the World Championships in 2007 when America’s Alysson Felix was declared the winner ahead of Veronica Campbell.

For now, Omanyala revels in his new title.

Zimbabwe softens stance of FIFA guidelines

Sports Brief had also reported that The Ministry of Sports and Recreation in Zimbabwe has appeared to relax its tough stance on FIFA.

The country has been banned by the world governing body for football FIFA and has subsequently been omitted from the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. FIFA chose to ban Zimbabwe and Kenya due to government interference.

The Zimbabwean government had earlier refused to reinstate the ousted officials of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA).

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)