'Catch me if you can,' Omanyala dares Kerley, Jacobs

Kip Keino Classic

African 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala attends the pre-race press conference on May 6, 2022 in Nairobi on the eve of Kip Keino Classic set for Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Omanyala warned his rivals, Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs and Olympic 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley at the pre-event press conference that he is ready to protect his home stuff at any cost.

"Catch me if you can."

That was Ferdinand Omanyala's message to his opponents ahead of the men's 100m at the Absa Kip Keino Classic on Saturday at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Omanyala warned his rivals, Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs and Olympic 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley at the pre-event press conference that he is ready to protect his home stuff at any cost.

MArcel Jacobs

Olympic 100 metres champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs (centre), African 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala (left) and America's Olympic silver medallist Fred Kerly during the pre-race press conference on May 6, 2022 on the eve of Kip Keino Classic set for Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

In response, Jacobs and Kerley said they will be aiming for nothing but victory.

"What I am looking for is a good start and everything will be history. Let them catch me if they can but let them not forget that this is Kenya," said Omanyala.

"How does 9.60 seconds sounds?" posed Omanyala, adding that he is not going for any record but he hopes to lower his personal of 9.77 seconds.

"I know the stadium will be packed and I have to give my home fans what they will be looking forward for," said Omanyala.

Omanyala finished second during the last year's 100m race in a new Africa Record time of 9.77 secs, losing the contest to American Trayvon Bromell in 9.76 seconds.

"I have improved greatly especially my starts," said the 26-year-old who chalked season's best 9.98secs at ASA Athletics Grand Prix 4 on April 13.

"I came here for one thing," said Kerley. "Victory is my focus as I look forward to start my season well."

Kip Keino Classic

Olympics 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley speaks during the pre-race press conference on May 6, 2022 in Nairobi on the eve of Kip Keino Classic set for Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

Kerley said he wants to get the right footing ahead of the World Athletics Championships scheduled for July 15 to 24 in Oregon, United States.

Jacobs, the World Indoor 60 champion, said that the rich Kip Keino Classic field enticed him to come to Kenya.

"Omanyala, Kerley and the rest are the reason why I am here. I want to run a fast time and get in the best shoe ahead of the World Championships," said Jacobs.

"It will be very stimulating to meet them as it will be part of my mission to achieve the best shape ahead of Oregon."

The Ministry of Sports on Friday scrapped the entry fees for the Kip Keino Classic in a bid to fill the stadium.

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