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It’s a day of ups and downs for Kenya at Olympic Stadium

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By | Athletics

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Ferdinand Omanyala leading in a 100m during Nairobi region's 2nd Athletics Kenya Track and Field Championships at Moi International Sports Center Kasarani Stadium. Feb 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The track and field programme at Tokyo 2020 was full of ups and down for Kenya yesterday.

The morning session started on a positive note as the 800m trio of Ferguson Rotich, Michael Saruni and Emmanuel Korir all booked a slot in the semi-finals before Ferdinand Omanyala equalled the Kenyan record in the 100m.

Omanyala clocked 10.01 to finish third in the race won by Canada’s Andre de Grasse.

The mark, which also equalled his personal best time was enough to take him to the semi-final set for today (Sunday) at 1:15pm.

Following up from the good news in the 800m was that a Kenyan was on the podium in the men’s 10,000m medal ceremony even though Kenyans did not finish in the medal places on Friday.

National Olympic Committee-Kenya (NOC) President Paul Tergat represented Kenyans on the podium as he presented the medals to Selemon Barega, Joshua Cheptegei and Edward Kiplimo.

Kenya’s celebration however turned sour as news of a Kenyan found guilty of doping violation filtered in later in the day. Later at night more bad news came that Mary Moraa failed to book a place in the women finals after finishing third in the first semi-final.

Mark Otieno in 100mts men category during trials for Tokyo olympic games at Kasarani stadium, June 17, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Mark Otieno, who was supposed to run the first 100m heat at 1:45pm Kenyan time, was withdrawn from the race with Team Kenya chef de mission Waithaka Kioni confirming that the athlete had been provisionally suspended.

“NOC Kenya does not condone doping and will continue to work with Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) in fighting the vice. 

“I hereby confirm that we have received communication this afternoon from International Testing Agency (ITA) regarding one of our sprinters who has had an adverse analytical finding on a urine sample he provided on 28 July 28.

“The sprinter had been residing in Kurume City at the Team Kenya Pre-Games Training Camp from July 15 until July 24 when he moved into the Olympic Village in Tokyo,” Kioni said, adding that the sprinter has the ITA letter. 

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