What you need to know:
- President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed were among the dignitaries who were on their feet at Kasarani as Omanyala scorched a strong field to win in 9.85 seconds.
- United States' Olympic 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley was second in 9.92.
He promised to deliver, and he did it in style and gusto.
Ferdinand Omanyala can now dare dream of becoming Africa, World and Commonwealth champion.
“Bring on the World Championships and Commonwealth Games,” stated Africa’s fastest man after almost causing a stampeded on the stands of Moi International Sports Centre with an explosive world lead time of 9.85 seconds to win the men's 100m race.
So thrilling was the third edition of the Absa Kip Keino Classic that seven world lead and meet records were registered including several personal best times.
At the backdrop of a fairly attended championships, Omanyala stunned Olympic 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley and Isiah Young from the United States to reign supreme to thunderous cheer from the fans who included President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, and Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga.
Also present were legendary Kipchoge Keino, whom the event is named after, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and Athletics Kenya president Jack Tuwei.
Omanyala had to hold his nerves after a false start blamed on a faulty starting gun to win.
Kerley recorded a season best of 9.92 seconds as Young came third also in season’s best 10.13sec.
It was a sweet win for Omanyala, who had settled for second place during last year’s meet in an African record time of 9.77 seconds.
American Trayvon Bromell won in 9.76,sec making him and Omanyala the seventh and eighth fastest men in the history of 100m.
"I promised to deliver and I did it," said Omanyala, who also wants to lower his personal best with a 9.6 seconds this season.
"I have an African record, yes but I want titles," said Omanyala.
The Kenyan sprint star is aiming for three gold medals from the Africa Senior Championships scheduled for June 8 to 12 in Mauritius.
Omanyala will compete in 100m, 200m and 4x100m.
He is also targeting a podium finish at the World Championships in July 15 to 24 in Oregon, United States and Commonwealth Games slated for July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham, England.
“I am hungry for championship medals,” said Omanyala.
He regretted the withdrawal of Jacobs and wished him quick recovery.
“It was my wish to run against him so as to make the race more exciting and competitive. Nevertheless, my opponents were worthy competitors,” said Omanyala.