Africa’s fastest man, Ferdinand Omanyala, is on a mission to put Kenya on the sprinting map. The 100-meter sprinter is targeting a 9.6-second time. But he is facing a race against time to obtain a US visa to enable him to get to Oregon for the 100m heats on Friday.
The Championship is set to start on Friday, July 15 with Omanyala expected to participate in two 100m events, Preliminary Round and the Heats. However, as of July 13, the sprinter was yet to leave the country.
“Sad that I haven’t travelled to Oregon yet and 100m is in 2 days. Visa delays!!” he posted on Instagram.
90% of Kenyan athletes are Nilotes from the Kalenjin group of tribes. Whether it’s their genetics or diet, it remains unclear why they produce some of the best long-distance runners. What distinguishes Omanyala is that he comes from the Bantu Abaluyha tribe. This tribe is well known for producing football and rugby players, with their bulky physique well-suited for such sports.
His African record makes him the 9th fastest man ever in the world, behind only Americans and Jamaicans. His target of picking a podium finish at the World Athletics Championship in Eugene, Oregon is lofty for an African and if he achieves his aim, will become just the first man to do it in the 100m category.
Legendary Namibian sprinter, Francis Fredericks has been on the podium in the Olympics but never managed to do it at the World meeting.