Omanyala promises to break his African 100m record

Tuesday May 09 2023
Ferdinand Omanyala

Kenyan athlete Ferdinand Omanyala looks on after the men's 60 metre race during the Elite Indoor Meeting at the Stadium Miramas Metropole in France, on February 3, 2023. PHOTO | CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU | AFP


Commonwealth 100 metres Kenyan champion Ferdinand Omanyala just knows how to prepare his fans, keeping them on the edge with their adrenaline pumping.

The African 100m record holder’s performance in Georgia, US, could not have come at the right time than when the country is preparing for the Absa Kip Keino Classic Continental Tour on Saturday.

In a taste of what to expect at Moi International Kasarani Sports Centre, Omanyala romped to yet another African record in 150m at the Atlanta City Games

Despite finishing third in 14.89 seconds, behind race winner and home athlete Noah Lyles in 14.56, Omanyala’s feat was enough to see him rewrite history books as Erriyon Knighton came second in 14.85.

The speedy Kenyan was way ahead at the 100m mark before Lyles, who is the reigning two-time world 200m champion, stepped up with a sizzling show.

Omanyala bettered Namibian Frankie Fredericks' mark of 14.99 and set a new African record, adding to his African 100m record of 9.77 attained at the 2020 Kip Keino Classic.


Fredricks set the 150m (bend) record during the 1993 World Athletics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany when winning the 200m title in a championship record time of 19.85.

‘I will break it a number of times’

But will Omanyala bring down his own Africa record come Saturday as promised?

“Yes! I am feeling good. The record is going down and I will break it a couple of times this year,” said Omanyala, who aims to run 9.65 this year.

Omanyala set the African record at the 2021 Kip Kieno Classic when he finished second in 9.77 behind American Trayvon Bromell, who won in 9.76.

Last year, Omanyala clocked 9.85secs to win at the Kip Keino Classic.

Talking about his experience in the 150m, Omanyala joked that he almost went for the deep at the 100m mark.

“You see, my body is programmed for 100m. I led at some point and wanted to deep only to realise that I had some metres to cover. It was a good experience,” said Omanyala.

The victory by Lyles, who is the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games 200m bronze medallist, saw him become the third-fastest athlete of all time over the distance behind Jamaican Usain Bolt and compatriot Tyson Gay.

The 150m is not a World Athletics-recognised event.