Omanyala confident of good show in Belgrade

 

Ferdinand Omanyala wins the 100m final during the 3rd Athletics Kenya Track and Field championship held at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on March 5, 2022.[Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Africa’s 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala is hoping his impressive start to the indoor season will continue at the world event in Belgrade, Serbia.

The national 100m record holder is leading a Kenyan team that will take part at the World Indoors Championships set for March 18-20 in Belgrade.

Omanyala is fresh from making his debut in the indoors series, where he raced in a number of meetings across Europe last month.

He set a new national record over 60m after stopping the clock in 6.57 seconds at the Meeting Hauts-de- France Pas-de-Calais in Lievin.

His exploits in France saw him rewarded with a place in the Kenyan team to the global showpiece alongside Collins Kipruto and former world Under-20 5000m champion Beatrice Chebet.

Also picked in Kenya’s team to the global event are Naomi Korir, Eglay Nalianya and world Under-20 800m champion Noah Kibet who will compete in 800m.

Jacob Krop and Daniel Simiyu will carry the Kenyan flag in men’s 3,000m while Abel Kipsang who finished fourth at the Olympic Games will compete in 1500m.

Ednah Jebitok will double up in 1500m and 3,000m.

“I feel ready. Being my first world championship I feel more than ready. Having earned some experience in indoor meetings which sharpened my starts, it gives me confidence to do well at the world event,” Omanyala said.

He added: “This will not be my first time competing in 60m, so I’m heading to Belgrade knowing what I am going to do.”

After a ninth-place finish in a scrappy race in Lievin, Kipruto rebounded with 800m victory in Birmingham two weeks ago and will hope to continue with the same form in Belgrade.

Kipruto who trains under the guidance of Jacob Langat in Nyahururu says he was confident of getting a podium finish.

“My body is in excellent shape and this a huge opportunity for me to represent the country at the world stage.

“This will be my second international outing for the country having worn the national colours at the World Relays in Yokohama in 2019,” Kipruto said.

The team which is expected to arrive in Belgrade on March 16 is led by veteran coach Barnaba Kitilit with 2007 Osaka World Championships 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei as one of the coaches. 

Other officials in the team are Philomena Francis as a team doctor, government representative Irene Wamui, Lydia Muraya and Ahmed Hassan as technical officials.

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