As most Kenyans snuggled warmly on a chilly Wednesday night with the clock ticking to the men’s 100m final at the ongoing Commonwealth Games, Ferdinand Omanyala’s wife, Laventa Amutavi, and their three-and-a-half-years-old son, Quinton Finn, were anxious yet hopeful of something special that was about to happen.
And when the gun went off at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, with Omanyala taking off the blocks at lightning speed, mother and son shouted themselves hoarse at their Kasarani home for the brief 10 seconds that it took Omanyala to rewrite the history books.
Speaking exclusively to Nairobi News on Thursday morning, just a few hours after that historic moment, the proud wife of the man of the moment could only sigh with relief, reality having finally sunk in.
“God had done it for us. He said it and He has done it. This win means everything to us. It has vindicated him for all his hard work and the sacrifice he made,” Laventa told Nairobi News.
Laventa’s joy was shared by their little son who is in a video she shared is seen chanting his father’s name as he ran the race.
“Finn was over the moon. He knows him as daddy champion. His daddy’s victory made him super excited,” she said.
However, Laventa was quick to admit that Omanyala’s victory came the hard way but atoned for the disappointment of the World Athletics Championship in Oregon.
Omanyala only made it as far as the semis at the World Championships having arrived in the US just two hours before the competition due to a visa hitch.
“We have been communicating with him regularly, sending him voice notes of Finn, who was always telling him to run, win and become number one. Our son is his biggest motivation, I believe,” she said.
“Those constant words of encouragement lifted his spirit because deep down I believed he would come back stronger,” she added.
Omanyala’s win gave Kenya its first gold medal at the Club Games in Birmingham. The fastest man in Africa timed 10:02 seconds to edge out South Africa’s Akani Simbine, who clocked 10:13, as Yupun Abeykoon from Sri Lanka wrapped up the medals bracket in a time of 10:14.
This story was first published on Nairobi News.