Omanyala promises sub-10s performance at national trials

Ferdinand Omanyala

Ferdinand Omanyala goes through his paces during a training session for World Championships and Commonwealth Games Trials at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani warm-up track on June 23, 2022. 

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Omanyala, who has run three sub 10s in the country, will take to the blocks on Saturday in the last event of the trials that has attracted 175 athletes at 2.40pm
  • Omanyala ran 9.77 seconds when he set a new African record in finishing second at the Kip Keino Classic last year but would win at the same event this year in a world lead time of 9.85
  • Perhaps the men's 800m will be one of the most competitive events on the card alongside the men's and women’s 5,000m and 10,000m


Africa 100 metres champion Ferdinand Omanyala plans for another sub 10 seconds performance in the trials for the World Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games starting Friday at Moi International Sports Centre (MISC), Kasarani.

Omanyala, who has run three sub 10s in the country, will take to the blocks on Saturday in the last event of the trials that has attracted 175 athletes at 2.40pm.

Omanyala ran 9.77 seconds when he set a new African record in finishing second at the Kip Keino Classic last year but would win at the same event this year in a world lead time of 9.85.

“The left side stomach strain that recurred when I competed in 200m at the Africa Senior Athletics Championships is long gone and Kenyans should be ready for another existing show from me,” said Omanyala as he went through his final touches with his coach Duncan Ayiemba at MISC.

Omanyala, who also anchored his 4x100m team to victory at the Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Reduit, Mauritius, will go head-to-head with his gold winning quartet of Mike Mokamba, Dan Kiviasi and Samuel Imeta.

"If I achieve my target then it will be the first time I am running under 10 seconds in a local event," said Omanyala, who is focused on making history at the world event by becoming the first African to win a medal at the global stage.

Also in the field is 2015 African Games 400m silver medallist Boniface Mweresa.

Omanyala, who is currently the eight fastest man in the history of 100m and United States-based 400m hurdler Moitalel Mpoke are the only sprinters to have met the qualifying times for the world event.

The World Athletics Championships are due for July 15 to 24 in Oregon, United States while the Commonwealth Games will go down July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham, England.

Monica Safania

Monica Safania stretches during a training session for World Championships and Commonwealth Games Trials at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani warm-up track on June 23, 2022. 

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

The trials christened a mini-world championships should witness some breathtaking moments with upsets abound.

World 10,000metre bronze medallist Rhonex Kipruto and men’s javelin throw event have been included in the trials.

Kipruto, whose name was missing from the list of those who are to compete, will now field in the men’s 10,000m final planned for Saturday at 1.30pm.

Three times Africa javelin champion Julius Yego will now get to compete and perhaps have a final stab to qualify for the World Athletics Championships with the inclusion of his event in the trials.

Perhaps the men's 800m will be one of the most competitive events on the card alongside the men's and women’s 5,000m and 10,000m.

Collins Kipruto (800m), leads Kumari Taki, Cornelius Kiplagat (1500m)

Collins Kipruto (800m), leads Kumari Taki, Cornelius Kiplagat (1500m) during a training session for World Championships and Commonwealth Games Trials at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani warm-up track on June 23, 2022. 

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

Men’s 800m is simply a rich field with Olympic champion Emmanuel Korir, who is also the 2021 Diamond League winner, Olympic 800m silver medallist Ferguson Rotich, who also claimed bronze at the 2019 World Athletics Championships.

In the midst is the World Under-20 800m champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi, who has so far won one Diamond League event in Rabat.

Wanyonyi also has also won two World Athletics Continental Gold Tour events this year- Kip Keino Classic and Golden Spikes Ostrava.

Noah Kibet, who claimed bronze in 800m in world under-20 last year before settling for silver at the World Indoor Championships this year, is also in contention.

What is so clear is that Kenya will have four representatives in the two-lap race with Korir already having a wild card by virtue of winning the Diamond league last year.  

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri has opted to run in the women's 10,000m final on Saturday, opting out of the 5,000m race on Sunday.

"My focus is to defend my 5,000m title in Oregon and then decide which event to go for in Birmingham," said Obiri, who is the 2018 world cross country champion.

The 10,000m final also has 2017 world cross country champion Irene Cheptai, Sheila Chepkirui, Africa 5,000m champion Caroline Nyaga and World 5,000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo among others. 

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