Omanyala bounces back in style, targets faster times in semis today

Ferdinand Omanyala of Team Kenya competes during the Men's 100m Round 1 heats on day five of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium on August 02, 2022 on the Birmingham, England. (Kelly Ayodi, Standard)

After a disappointing outing at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, the African record holder Ferdinand Omanyala started Commonwealth Games on a high note, gliding into men's 100m semifinals set for today in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Omanyala, the African champion won his heat comfortably in a time of 10.07secs, the second quickest amongst the qualifiers from the heats and he will be aiming to step on the podium at the end of the event in Birmingham after missing out at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, last month.

Cameroonian Emmanuel Eseme, who registered his new personal best time of 10.08secs, finished second.
"That was a comfortable qualification, I'm looking forward to running sub 10sec in the semis. The target here is to win a gold medal and it's good I have forgotten all the Oregon troubles and the focus is to win and of course run faster time," said Omanyala after his heat yesterday.

Another Kenyan representative Samuel Imeta also sprinted to the semis, after finishing second in his heat with a new Personal Best time of 10.12secs.
The 100m games defending champion Akani Simbine from South Africa easily progressed to the semis after winning his heat in 10.10secs and will be a big threat against Omanyala's quest for the title.

Yupun Abeykoon of Sri Lanka paced all the qualifiers from the first round after running 10.06secs to win his heat easily and consequently advanced to the semis in fine style.
The quintet of Benjamin Azamati (10.19) of Ghana, Rohan Browning (10.10) of Australia, Nigerian Favour Ashe (10.12), England's Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (10.14) and Kemar Bailey-Cole (10.15) also booked a slot in the semis.

In the women's race, national record holder Maxmila Imali cruised into the semis after finishing third in her heat, clocking 11.30secs, while Jamaican Elaine Thompson Herah won it in 10.99secs.

England's Daryll Neita also sailed through. The 25-year-old clocked 11.02secs to win her 100m heat and present a huge challenge to Thomson-Hera.
But it was the end of the road for former national champion Millicent Ndoro who finished fifth in 11.76secs.

World Championships bronze medallist Mary Moraa announced her intentions to finish on the podium after comfortably sailing into the semifinals.
Moraa clocked 1:59.22 to win heat one heat ahead of Uganda's 2019 former World Champion Halima Nakaayi who returned 1:59.35 to finish second.

Front-running Moraa, 22, dominated the pace from start to finish, with Nakaayi and South African Prudence Ssekgodiso in hot pursuit.

However, Jarinter Mawia failed to get an automatic qualification finishing fourth in her heat in 2:00.95.
The recently crowned world 800m silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson from England and 1,500m specialist Laura Muir of Scotland advanced in the 800m semis.

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