Omanyala to lead Kenyan charge in Gaborone today

Kenya's sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala in a past action. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

As the outdoor season ramps up, some of the sport's leading stars will be looking to make a statement when they compete at the Botswana Golden Grand Prix, this year's second World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, in Gaborone today.

Local talent Letsile Tebogo takes on the 100m and 200m against global medallists such as Andre De Grasse and Kenny Bednarek, while Sha'Carri Richardson tests herself over 200m.

Ese Brume and Lorraine Ugen renew their rivalry in the long jump, and Kirani James opens his season in the 400m.

Gaborone hosts the first World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in southern Africa and Botswana's world U20 100m record-holder Tebogo will hope for a strong performance on home soil.

First up is the 100m, where the 19-year-old - who clocked 9.91 to retain his world U20 title in Cali last year - will race against USA's Olympic and world 200m medallist Bednarek, Kenya's African record-holder Ferdinand Omanyala and USA's treble NACAC medallist Kyree King.

Tebogo opened his 200m season with a 20.00 run in Florida earlier this month and could get closer to the 19.96 PB he ran when he was narrowly pipped to the world U20 200m title in Cali. Among some strong opposition is Canada's Olympic champion De Grasse, racing his first 200m of the year, plus the world fourth- and fifth-place finishers: Liberia's Joseph Fahnbulleh and Dominican Republic's Alexander Ogando.

The women's 100m features USA's 4x100m champion Twanisha Terry, who ran her PB of 10.82 last year and opened this season with a wind-assisted 10.83 in Florida, as she goes against Olympic relay medallists Teahna Daniels and Javianne Oliver.

Kenya's world 800m bronze medallist Mary Moraa, who also claimed Commonwealth and Diamond League crowns in 2022, drops down to race the 400m against Jamaica's Olympic and world finalist Candice McLeod.

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