Omanyala ready to be crowned world champion

Ferdinand Omanyala celebrates winning the 100M men final race during the Trials for World Athletics Championship held at Nyayo National stadium in Nairobi on July 08, 2023.[Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Africa 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala carried his fine form to the at the Herculis meeting in Monaco, the World Athletics Diamond League event, on Friday night.

Omanyala, the Commonwealth Games champion, was in tip top form as he won in 9.92 seconds even after he defied a late challenge from fellow African Letsile Tebogo (9.93)and declared his intent to claim the world title in Budapest.

“I will be the next world champion. There are no doubts about it. I am ready to do it. Tonight I just confirmed what I am capable of. I would not call it a perfect race but I am ready. It was a blessing to win here and I wanted to run faster but a win is a win,” Omanyala said after the win on Friday.

The win means he becomes the first Kenyan to win 100m at the Diamond League meeting but also the first Kenyan to compete over the distance in the 15-leg series spread across Asia, USA, Europe and Africa.

In February, Omanyala stunned Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs of Italy in men’s 60m dash at Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais, a World Indoor Tour, in Lievin, France.

Omanyala then stopped the timer at 6.54 seconds, smashing his own national record of 6.55 seconds he had set just a week ago in Mondeville Meeting in France.

Jacobs, who is also the reigning world indoor champion settled for second in 6.57 seconds with Arthur Cisse of Ivory Coast trailing third in 6.59 seconds.

Omanyala kicked off his season with a second-place finish in Miramas on February 3 before winning in a national record in Mondeville on February 15.

It was a rematch between Omanyala and Jacobs with the last meeting between the duo being at the same venue a year ago with the Italian prevailing.

The 27-year-old then headed to Paris on February 11 where he clocked 6.56 before winding his two-week tour in Lievin Wednesday night.

Once he made his debut in the Diamond League, it has been so close yet so far for the national record holder before he registered his maiden win on Friday.

Last year, Omanyala became the second Kenyan to win 100m gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

His feat comes 60 years after the late Seraphino Antao won gold medals 100 and 220 yards at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth in western Australia.

Omanyala said the win motivates him ahead of the World Championships and the Olympic Games next year.

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