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Ferdinand Omanyala: My girlfriend supported me when I was broke

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By | The Standard

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Ferdinand Omanyala, left. Omanyala with girlfriend Lavenda, right. [Courtesy]

Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala, has revealed how his girlfriend supported him when he was broke.

The athlete opened up on his relationship today at an event where he was being presented with a brand new car of an undisclosed value by Odibets betting firm.

In the heartfelt speech, the athlete then told a stunned room-filled audience that he had no money, leading to his significant other stepping up to help out.

“She was paying the rent, taking care of the bills because she was working. She would bring the money to the table and say, this is for training, rent and food,” the athlete said.

The crown cheered and clapped as Omanyala’s girlfriend, who was seated at the front row, shyly laughed and clapped at the appreciative speech.

The runner then joked; “hii bale imefungwa, yenye iko sasa imeraruka” taunting the audience, saying that there are few women like his left.

“I would come from training and find her at home ready to take care of me. She would have warm water ready to massage me, and I felt good,” Omanyala said.

The sprinter has achieved massive success in his athletics career recently. He started his career in 2016 but suffered a setback when he served a 14-month doping term in 2017.

The runner joked; “hii bale imefungwa, yenye iko sasa imeraruka.” [Courtesy]

"I felt I was a victim of circumstance," he explained. "It was a painkiller and then it turned out it had a steroid in it, and that (experience) is what shaped me to be the person that I am today," Omanyala told the BBC.

Omanyala spoke candidly about the hardships he faced when the pandemic struck, describing the period as a “blessing in disguise”, since he used six months of that time to train.

“I believe that what I did last year is what has pushed me to be where I am today. I was training without any goals- the only aim being to get better than I was yesterday,” the sprinter said.

This has been one of his best seasons, as the athlete reached the 100m semi-finals at his first Olympics, while setting a new Kenyan record of 10 seconds, one of five personal bests achieved in the last seven months.

He set a new African record of 9.76 seconds to become the seventh-fastest 100 m runner of all time in September 18, finishing second at the Kip Keino Classic after America’s Trayvon Bromell.

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