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100m Semi-final Preview: Can Ferdinand Omanyala re-write history?

ATHLETICS By Robin Toskin in Tokyo, Japan | August 1st 2021
Ferdinand Omanyala after leading in 200Mts Men race during Nairobi County 2nd Athletics Kenya, Track and Field events at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

100m MEN – Venue: Tokyo Olympic Stadium

                                Time: 1:15pm (Kenya time)

                                How to watch: KTN Home

National record holder in Men’s 100m Ferdinand Omanyala has lit up living rooms in Kenya after qualifying for the Olympic semi-finals of the event here in Tokyo.

Omanyala equaled his national record of 10.01 in finishing third in Heat 5 on Saturday, sending twitter on meltdown in Kenya.

He returns today to the Tokyo Olympic Stadium at 1:15pm Kenyan time. He is in Heat 1 where his 10.01 mark is the second slowest.  Jamaican Yohan Blake with a Personal Best of 9.69 ranks as the fastest.

100m Semi-finals

Heat 1

Lane      Athlete                                 Nation                  PB

2              Usheoritse Itsekiri           NIG                        10.02    

3              Reece Prescod                 Gbr                        9.92       

4              Gift Leotlela                      SA                           9.94

5              Yohan Blake                      JAM                       9.69

6              Andre de Grasse              CAN                       9.90

7              Fred Kerley                        USA                       9.86

8              Jimmy Vicaut                     FRA                       9.86

9              Ferdinand Omurwa         KEN                       10.01


While Kenyans will be cheering on Omanyala, his exploits will not be the first of a kind since Kenya took part at the Summer Olympics in 1956.

Ferdinand Omanyala. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Seraphino Antao made the semi-final in 100m, but did not advance to finals at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Italy, when he clocked 10.72.

Antao was from Mombasa and made history as the first Kenya to win a gold medal at an international level during the 1962 Commonwealth Games. He died on September 6, 2011.

Below is a list of other Kenyans to have participated at the Olympics in 100m.

1968 Mexico City, Mexico

Julius Sang                          10.64sec              

Charles Asati                     10.63    

1972 Munich, West Germany

Dan Amuke                       10.76    

John Mwebi                      10.60    

1988 Seoul, Rep of Korea

Peter Wekesa                  10.50

Kennedy Ondiek              10.51


Peter Wekesa                  10.43    

Kennedy Ondiek              10.57    

1992 Barcelona, Spain

Kennedy Ondieki             10.60

1996 Atlanta, USA

Donald Onchiri                 10.66


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