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Wayne Lumbasi

Ferdinand Omanyala is a renowned Kenyan 100m Sprinter who has gained much popularity for his talent in the rarely won races in Kenya.

He is currently the African record holder and 8th fastest man of all-time in the 100 meters after clocking a time of 9.77 on 18th Sep 2021 in Nairobi

Kenya is known to produce high-profile and rated runners. Nevertheless, most runners from Kenya are known to succeed in long-distance races such as marathons.

Ferdinand Omanyala (left) during Miramas Indoor Meeting in France /Getty Images/

Previously, he was a rugby player before his talent as a sprinter got noticed. He took his new talent seriously and commenced serious training. 

Only Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay, Yohan Blake, Asafa Powel, Justin Gatlin, Christian Coleman, and Trayvon Bromell come ahead of him in the list of all-time fastest athletes. Yet most of these stars are his idols and seniors of the 25-year-old.

“Bolt, Blake, and Gatlin are my idols. I grew up watching them compete and it feels good to be mentioned in the same breath as them.”

Omanyala began his rise in Lagos by running for 10.01s in the men’s 100m race of the Making of Champions (MOC) grand prix in March to meet the qualification time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Sports Athlete of the year 2021 award /Courtesy/

At the Olympic Games, Omanyala ran a time of 10.01 to finish third and became the first Kenyan to reach the semi-final in the men’s 100m at the Games. He missed out on being in the final line by a few tenths of a second after he finished third in the semifinal with an impressive 10 seconds behind eventual medalists Canada’s Andre De Grasse and Fred Kerley of the USA.

Omanyala later set his own personal as well as the national record on August 14, 2021 on the 100m race held in Pramtalstadion, Andord (AUT). In this race, Omanyala got his personal best in the 100m race with a time of 9.86.

Ferdinand Omanyala /Courtesy/

On 18th September 2021, Omanyala ran a 9.77 (+1.2 m/s) for his new personal best at the Absa Kip Keino Classic Continental Tour held in Nairobi, Kenya where he came in a close second place behind Trayvon Bromell of USA running the 2021 world-leading time of 9.76

Omanyala is one of the most resilient sportsmen who never give in anyhow. He at some point faced a ban from Athletics Kenya (AK) which meant that he would never represent the country in athletics.

However, the passion and fire of participation in athletics never grew cold. He kept on dreaming of his success. Currently, he is among the youngest athletes with a great promising future unlike the trend in the Kenyan athletes mainly producing long-distance athletes.

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Wayne Lumbasi