Omanyala's victory at Botswana Grand Prix stands, but wind assisted

Monday May 01 2023
Ferdinand Omanyala

Africa 100 metres champion Ferdinand Omanyala whose Botswana Golden Grand Prix win was restated having not infringed Letsile Tebogo who came second. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NMG


Africa 100 metres champion Ferdinand Omanyala’s windy 100m victory at the Botswana Golden Grand Prix at the National Stadium in Gaborone will stand.

However, Botswana Golden Grand Prix Media Officer Calistus Kolantsho said that the victory of 9.78 seconds was wind assisted coming at +2.3 m/s hence won’t be ratified as a world lead.

More so, Kolantsho noted that Omanyala’s lane infringement was not picked up by the timers or reported to the timers hence his victory is upheld.

There was confusion on whether Omanyala’s time was a world lead and whether he had been disqualified after stepping on the lane.

In World Athletics competition rules, sprint and jump performances for which the measured wind speed exceeds +2.0 m/s are deemed illegal and cannot be ratified for record purposes.

Omanyala stepped on the lane on his right while trying to glance at home athlete Letsile Tebogo, who finished second in 9.91.


Omanyala who is also Commonwealth Games champion, took off the blocks swiftly leading all the way to win, missing his own Africa and national record by 0.01 seconds.

Going by the World Athletics lane infringement rule, Omanyala might have stepped on the lane but is exonerated having not infringed Tebogo.

Athletic technical rules

Technical Rule 17.3.1 (163.3(a)) on lane infringement reads: ‘This rule applies to athletes running on the bend in a laned race. If an athlete steps on the lane line on their left or runs into the lane on their inside they will be disqualified for shortening the distance of the race’.

‘If an athlete runs into the inside lane or touches the lane line in the straight, no report will be made unless they obstruct another athlete as they have not affected the distance to be covered in the race’.

‘Running into the lane on an athlete’s right (outer lane) should not be penalised unless there is interference with the athlete running in that lane’. 

Omanyala would anchor Kenya to victory in 4x100m in 38.26 seconds, which pushed them to 12th in the world ranking and in pole position for the World Athletics Championships scheduled for August 19 to 27 in Budapest, Hungary.

The top 16 teams in the world ranking by July 31, this year will qualify alongside the top eight finishers at the World Athletics Championships held last year in Oregon, US.

Omanyala now shifts his focus to the Atlanta City Games on May 6 this year before returning to Nairobi for the Kip Keino Classic, the second of the World Athletics Gold Tour event after Botswana Golden Grand Prix.