Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala will be able to compete in the World Athletics Championships after being granted a last-minute visa to travel to the United States.
“Onto the next flight to Oregon,” Omanyala, who was travelling from Nairobi, said on Twitter. “Am positive that I will compete.”
Omanyala’s participation in the World Championships was in doubt on Thursday morning after a visa hitch that affected some of the athletes and members of the technical staff.
Omanyala, the third-quickest man in the world this season, will have just a few hours rest after his flight before the 100 meter heats start on Friday in Eugene, Oregon.
He had earlier given up hope of competing after failing to receive a visa, saying there wasn’t enough time to fly to Oregon. It takes more than 20 hours of travelling from Kenya to Oregon via Europe or the Middle East depending on the flight while a direct flight takes about 15 hours.
“Visa challenges are faced by all Kenyans and people daily, in this case, I was no different,” Omanyala added.
Omanyala is the third-quickest man in the world season behind Americans Fred Kerley and Trayvon Bromell, setting a time of 9.85 seconds in May. In September last year, he set a new African record of 9.77sec, making him the eighth-fastest man ever, behind four Americans and three Jamaicans.