What you need to know:
- Omanyala, who resumed training three weeks ago, said things are going on smoothly with his new coach Geoffrey Kimani
- Omanyala said he usually concentrated his focus on training the big muscles at the start of the season not knowing that there are smaller muscles that also needed to be worked on
- The Kenyan record holder said he will participate in three local races only next season -- the Kip Keino Classic, the Athletics Kenya National Championships and the National Trials for Paris Olympic Games
Commonwealth Games and Africa 100 metres champion Ferdinand Omanyala will start his season with a title defence at the Indoor Meeting Elite de Miramas on February 2 in Miramas, France.
Africa’s fastest man clocked 6.65 seconds to prevail in the 60m semi-finals before equalling the national record in the final with a time of 6.63 in the French meet.
Omanyala, who resumed training three weeks ago, said things are going on smoothly with his new coach Geoffrey Kimani.
“I am beginning to feel soreness in muscles that I never knew I had,” said Omanyala. “This is how I felt in June last year when I won in Africa so you can imagine what it will be when I get to June next year.”
Omanyala said he usually concentrated his focus on training the big muscles at the start of the season not knowing that there are smaller muscles that also needed to be worked on.
“I know it will be an Olympic season but I won’t set any targets. I will hope for the best and trust that the next step will take me to a better place,” said Omanyala.
Omanyala said is preseason training involves a lot of gym work, track and hill work, and endurance runs.
'Committed and professional'
Kimani said he slightly changed Omanyala’s training philosophy where speed is given priority from the season build up phase.
“There are many ways of improving speed without actually sprinting, for instance working on technique and the events technical model, especially the acceleration phase,” said Kimani, explaining that one ought to be fastest in 30m during the general preparation phase.
“That’s the foundation of all sprint events,” noted Kimani, stating that the body is an intricate machine that requires everything to fire, hence the need to shed some muscles.
Kimani said that dealing with Omanyala is one of the easiest affairs since he has no issues on discipline and drive. “He is committed and professional.”
Omanyala’s manager Marcel Viljoen said Kimani has introduced some new techniques and methodology, which will take a bit of adjustment but Omanyala has been enjoying it.
“Omanyala is in good space and excited about different ways of training that Kimani has introduced and it’s important that he shouldn’t have any interruptions,” said Viljoen.
The Kenyan record holder said he will participate in three local races only next season -- the Kip Keino Classic, the Athletics Kenya National Championships and the National Trials for Paris Olympic Games.
“I will only compete at the trials for the Olympics if there will be more athletes striking the qualifying standards of 10 seconds,” said Omanyala.
He the former rugby player said he will concentrate on the Diamond League and World Athletics Continental Gold Tour races next season.
Omanyala was speaking at function where he was unveiled by giant multinational payment card service provider Visa as one of the 117 athletes from across the world in Team Visa at the Ulinzi Sports Complex on Thursday.
Visa Kenya Country Manager Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, who was flanked by Visa East Africa Marketing Director Sheila Changangu, unveiled Omanyala amidst song and dance led by Sauti Sol musical group member Devin Mudigi aka Savara.
Also in attendance was Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba.
Ngigi-Sarwari said Omanyala is the third athlete in Africa they have unveiled in Team Visa after former Africa and Commonwealth Games champion Akani Simbine of South Africa and former world 100m hurdles champion Tobi Amusan of Nigeria.
“Our partnership it to empower these athletes to achieve goals personally and professionally,” said Ngigi-Sarwari.
Namwamba said Omanyala represents the very best of Kenyan sports, having shattered myths that Kenyans can’t do well in sprints.
“He was opened our eyes and made us dream and believe that it can be done and that there is talent everywhere,” said Namwamba.