Omanyala's camp downplays Tebogo threat at Kip Keino Classic

Ferdinand Omanyala

Ferdinand Omanyala celebrates his victory during the men's 100m final at the national trials for the World Athletics Championships at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on July 8, 2023.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Omanyala has twice broken the 60m national record this year.
  • Tebogo's presence could be a catalyst to another African record.

Africa and Commonwealth 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala’s technical team has downplayed the sprinter’s eagerly-awaited showdown with world 100m silver medalist Letsile Tebogo at this year’s Kip Keino Classic.

Tebogo, the world under-20 200m and 100m record holder, will compete in both the 200m and 100m at the event scheduled for April 20 at the Nyayo National Stadium.

However, coach Geoffrey Kimani has said Omanyala will not engage in any battle with his rivals, explaining that their main focus is to chase time.

“We are not training to challenge people but run in our channel. Sprints have several phases with the results coming at the tail end of the race,” said Kimani, adding that every athlete’s tactics in a race are based on a model and not what their rivals are doing.

“Yes, of course, we shall face an opposition... whether we like it or not we shall line up against some, who are good and that is what will make my athlete better," said Kimani.

At the same time, Kimani said he is happy that Omanyala took a break from competition to focus on training after his indoor outing that culminated at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow, Scotland on March 1.

Kimani also said they have had a good build-up with Ivorian national Arthur Cisse joining his stable on Friday last week. 

“Cisse is a good addition and is now one of us. We are doing well in training and everyone is complimenting each other. It’s a good environment,” he said.

Omanyala was to officially open his outdoor season with his 100m title defence at the Botswana Golden Grand Prix on April 14, but the event has since been stopped by the High Court in Gaborone.

Cisse, who owns the Ivorian national records in the 100m, 150m, and 200m outdoor and 60m indoor, was also set for the Gaborone race before returning to Kenya for the Kip Keino Classic.

And talking about chasing his time, there is a possibility of Omanyala improving on his personal best and Africa Record time of 9.77 which he set during the 2021 Kip Keino Classic. 

During his indoor tour this year, Omanyala twice broke the 60m national record, winning the Elite Indoor Track Miramas Meeting in Miramas, France in 6.52, beating his previous time of 6.54 on February 2. 

Omanyala would then shave off 0.01 from his time, winning the Meeting de Paris in 6.51 on February 11 in the French capital.  

Tebogo's presence could be a catalyst to another African record with the 20-year-old having snatched silver in 100m at the World Athletics Championships last year in personal best and national record time of 9.88. 

American Noah Lyles won in a world lead time of 9.83 with Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes taking bronze 9.88 and Omanyala settling for seventh place in 10.07.

Tebogo, who will be making his second appearance in Nairobi, has competed in three races this year.

On Wednesday night he competed at the Athletics South Africa Athletics Grand Prix III/World Athletics Continental Tour Challenger at the University of Johannesburg.

Tebogo got the better of home athlete Akani Simbine, a former 100m Africa Record holder, winning the 200m final in a time of 19.94.