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Omanyala beats Justin Gatlin, sets African record

ATHLETICS By Ochieng Oyugi | September 19th 2021
President Uhuru Kenyatta embraces Sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala as Sports CS Amb. Amina Mohamed during The Kip Keino Classic-World Athletics Continental Tour 2021 at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on September18, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

He has done it again!

The newly minted Kenyan sprint sensation Ferdinand Omanyala re-wrote history by lowering his 100m National Record by 9.77 at the second edition of Kip Keino Classic at Kasarani Stadium yesterday.

The performance wiped out the disappointment of finishing second to American Trayvon Brommel, who won the World Athletics Continental Tour event in 9.76 seconds.

The cut-throat dash, cheered on President Uhuru Kenyatta, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed among other government dignitaries had Kenyans on the edge of their seats as Omanyala once again proved he was a genuine rising star in the race dominated by Americans and Jamaicans.

Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala, and USA Travon Bramwell and Justin Gatlin battle in 100m final during The Kip Keino Classic-World Athletics Continental Tour 2021 at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on September18, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Omanyala, who made the semifinals of the event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics had stated he wanted to beat US great Justin Gatlin. In the end it came down to himself and Brommel as Gatlin finished a distant third in 10.03.

The effort saw Omanyala set a new African Record in the adrenaline filled contest.

“I have conquered Africa, next I’m going for the World record,” Omanyala told Standard Sports.

“I promised my fans a good show and I’m happy I delivered,” he said.

Gatlin praised Omanyala saying: “He used the hometown support really well. I believe Omanyala will be a force to reckon with.”

After the victory, Bromell gave out his spikes to fans to show support to the spectators, who he said cheered and backed him in the race. 


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