Ferdinand Omanyala: Kenyan athlete sets new national record in Austria
- Omanyala ran 100 metres in less than 10 seconds, becoming the first Kenyan to ever achieve that feat
- He represented Kenya in the 100m at the Tokyo Olympics but bowed out in the semis
- His latest feat means he beat his previous record of 10.00 seconds in the 100m which he set at the summer games
Kenya’s glimmer of hope in the 100m Ferdinand Omanyala set a new national record after running the distance in less than 10 seconds.
Fresh out of the Tokyo Olympics, Omanyala was in Austria on Saturday, August 14 where he clocked 9.96 seconds in a meet.
His new feat means he beat his own previous record of 10.00 seconds.
Not only does he become the first Kenya to dip in under 10 seconds, he also joins an elite group of sprinters including the world’s fastest human Usain Bolt, to achieve that feat.
Usain Bolt, considered the fastest man in the world, currently holds the record in the 100m with 9.58 seconds.
“Somebody tell me I’m dreaming! This will sink in years later,” Omanyala shared on his Twitter after the feat.
Omanyala’s rise to the top
Having taken up athletics in 2016, Omanyala had taken a huge risk as he decided to abandon his rugby prospects despite having the physique for the sport.
But that now looks like a risk that is paying off and thanks to his coach Duncan Ayiemba, he was able to concentrate in sprints.
His career took a minor setback in 2017 after he was sanctioned by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya on doping allegations.
Despite making a return in 2018, he suffered injury setbacks but eventually made it to the national team.
How he faired at the Olympics
At the Tokyo Olympics, the Kenya sprinter showed a lot of promise as he qualified for the 100m semi-finals in the Tokyo Olympics after finishing third in Heat 5.
The Kenyan clocked 10.01, which equalled his personal best as he finished in third place in heat one.
In the semis, he ran an even better race as he clocked another personal best of 10.00 seconds but unfortunately bowed out.