Sprinter Omanyala hopeful of second chance
Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala is still hopeful Athletics Kenya and National Olympics Committee of Kenya NOCK will give him an opportunity to accomplish his dream of running a sub 10:00 set time at the Olympics in Tokyo.
Omanyala who surpassed the 10.05 Olympic qualifying time in Nigeria earlier this year by setting a new national record of 10.01 believes he deserves a chance to showcase his talent and the best platform could be the Olympics.
The University of Nairobi student recently set a new national 100m record of 10.01 seconds to meet the qualifying time to compete at the Olympics, however Athletics Kenya set regulations bars anyone with a past doping violation from representing the country.
In 2017, the sprinter hit the headlines when he clocked a national record of 10.11 seconds but Athletics Kenya failed to ratify the record, dimming it wind assisted.
Earlier that year the 25-year-old had been found guilty of breaching doping regulations, and went on to serve a 14-month ban in 2017 for allegedly using a prohibited substance by the Kenya Anti-doping Agency (Adak).
Despite the bumpy ride, Omanyala went on to set a new national 100m record when he won his semi-final race in 10.01 seconds during a Nigerian event on March 30 this year, erasing Mark Otieno’s previous time of 10.14.
“Once I clocked 10.01 I knew the fight to compete at the Olympics was on, and now at my peak I’m sure I will make something out of it If I get a chance to compete,” said Omanyala.
The new set time saw Omanyala surpass the Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying mark of 10.05 and elevated him to new heights with the sprinter now ranked among the top 10 100m sprinters, at ninth in the world.
Omanyala hunger for sub-10.00 seconds is clear considering the world record is 9.58 seconds, set by Jamaican legend Usain Bolt in the 2009 IAFF World Championship. However the former Mwamba RFC Rugby player believes honour will not be handed on a silver platter.
When sports activities in the country were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, he sought ways to remain fit joining his former rugby teammates in the national team for strength and conditioning training.
“Training with the Kenya 7s team was a great experience, perfect strength and conditioning training which when blended with my athletics skills, took me to a level higher,” noted Omanyala, adding meeting and training with Shujaa players that I looked up to in my rugby days was a blessing.
Asked if he ponders going back to rugby if the going gets tough in Athletics, Omanyala doesn’t rule out a possibility, insistings time is ripe for him to concentrate on racing.