Omanyala sprints to African record in Atlanta

Ferdinand Omanyala after winning the 100m final at the AK Track and Field weekend meet on February 25. [Stafford Ondego]

100m Commonwealth Games and Africa champion Ferdinand Omanyala continued with his sterling show as he set an African and national record in 150m race during a meeting in Atlanta on Saturday.

Omanyala finished third in 14.89, but that was enough for the Africa and national record in the rarely competed distance.

Omanyala was well-rested after running a wind-aided 9.78 in a 100m in Botswana late last month. He had the support of a large cheering section wearing Team Kenya apparel. "I promise you a very fabulous year this year," he said.

The good show by Omanyala will give him confidence as he prepares for the Kip Keino Classic at Kasarani next Saturday.

The adidas Atlanta City Games were staged on a temporary, elevated straightaway built in Centennial Olympic Park.

The 150m race was won by America's 200m world champion Noah Lyles.

Lyles, the two-time world 200m champion, ran a PB of 14.56. He chopped 0.13 off his best from 2019 while fending off rivals Erriyon Knighton (14.85) and Omanyala of Kenya (14.89).

Lyles wasn't in top form in his first 10 metres, but accelerated well.

"I was getting to the end of that track," he said, "and I was like, 'Well, I'm running out of gas, but I'm going to make sure I get through this line fast.'"

The Olympic bronze medallist did, snatching the tape in his hand. Although Lyles posted the third-fastest time in history, he had hoped to come closer to Usain Bolt's world best of 14.35 from 2009 in Birmingham. Tyson Gay ran 14.41 en route to a time of 19.41 over 200m in 2010

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