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Omanyala, Wanyonyi race to world leads at Nyayo Stadium

Athletics
 Ferdinand Omanyala (R) celebrate after winning the 100m finals during the National Trials for Olympic Games Paris 2024 held at the Nyayo National Stadium on June 15, 2024. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

One hundred-metres African champion Ferdinand Omanyala showed he was peaking at the right time ahead of the Olympics after dropping a stunning 9.79 at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday as he won the Olympic trials.

Omanyala’s show came just after 800m world silver medallist Emmanuel Wanyonyi had clocked the third fastest time (1:41.70) of all time while Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon had raced to an impressive 3:53.98 in the 1500m.

In what was the last individual track event of the two-day championships, Omanyala brought the crowd to their feet at Nyayo Stadium yesterday when he cruised to a World Lead of 9.79 which erased the previous world leading time of 9.82 which was set by Jamaica’s Oblique Seville on June 1.

Mark Otieno who is making a comeback after a ban was second in 10.12.

“I’m getting better by each event. As I had said earlier this year, we are not promising much, just the results,” said Omanyala.

Wanyonyi’s time of 1:41.70 is only slower to David Rudisha’s world record of 1:40.91 and former world record then held by former Kenyan Wilson Kipketer of Denmark at 1:41.11

Wycliffe Kinyamal (1:42.50) was second with Koitatoi Kidali finishing third in 1:42.66 which were all under the world lead this year of 1:43.51 held by Algeria’s Djamel Sedjati.

Earlier Kipyegon expressed confidence of good show when she doubles at the Paris Olympics after winning the 1500m race.

Her victory came a day after blistering a performance in the 5000m on Friday.

 Emmanuel Wanyonyi celebrate after winning the 1500m finals during the National Trials for Olympic Games Paris 2024 held at the Nyayo National Stadium on June 15, 2024. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The double Olympic champion clocked an impressive 3:53.98 to beat Nelly Chepchirchir (3:58.46) to second while US-based Susan Ejore completed the podium in 4:00.22 and qualify for the Games.

“I have raced a lot this season due to an injury but I thank God because I ran incredible races at the trials. I can confidently declare that I’m going to double in Paris. Today’s victory has boosted my confidence. I’m ready to go and represent Kenya in the 1500m and 5000m,” Kipyegon said.

Ronald Kwemoi cleverly surged into the lead with one lap remaining to bag the 5,000m title in 13:27.20 and qualify for his maiden Olympics.

World bronze medallist Robert Krop timed 13:27.54 in second spot with USA-based Edwin Kurgat third 13:27.75.

“I’m so happy to make the team, after missing out in the men’s 10,000m at Kenyan trials at the Prefontaine Classic last month,” said Kwemoi.

Krop, who will be making his Olympic debut said teamwork will ensure Kenya win the elusive title. Kenya last won the title at 1988 Seoul Olympics through John Ngugi.

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