What you need to know:
- Visa hitches saw Omanyala arrive in Oregon just hours before the start of the 100m where he reached the semi-finals.
- Omanyala hopes that the victory will continue to inspire and encourage many Kenyans and pave the way for more sprinters.
The new Commonwealth Games 100m champion Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala says winning the World title next year and the Olympic crown in 2024 Paris is now a reality for him.
Omanyala said the Commonwealth Games victory is a big motivation towards next season where he intends to take another shot at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary and later the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
“Winning the Africa and Commonwealth titles in addition to setting a new Africa Record in less than one year makes that dream for the world and Olympic titles possible and a reality,” said Omanyala.
The 26-year-old Omanyala once again successfully wrestled the Commonwealth Games title from South Africa’s Akani Simbine less than two months after snatching the Africa crown from him.
Omanyala, who credited his tremendous performance to Simbine, made a sterling take off to clock 10.02 seconds to win, beating Simbine to second place in 10.13 sec. Yupun Abeykoon from Sri Lanka hauled bronze in 10.14 sec.
Omanyala took the Africa record from the South African when he finished second at the Kip Keino Classic in September last year in 9.77 seconds, a time that placed him the eighth fastest man at the distance then.
Then come June 9 this year, Omanyala would edge out Simbine in a photo-finish to also take away the Africa title from the South African in Mauritius.
“Our rivalry has brought out the beast in me and I thank him for keeping me on toes. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn't be fighting for anything now,” said Omanyala, who is yet to lose to Simbine.
“It’s such a blessing. He is a good rival and a brother to me,” said Omanyala.
“We rarely talk before the races but we became best of buddies thereafter.”
Speaking about the final, Omanyala indicated that he knew he had it when he left Simbine at the blocks. “That is what I wanted… to be in front from the start and push to the line,” said Omanyala.
Omanyala said he has worked for the victory since the beginning of the year.
“We have it…It’s now a reality!” said Omanyala affirming that been looking forward to the victory and commended his team and Kenyans who have supported him throughout this journey.
“It feels nice, I know it will take days to sink in. It feels nice in front of this receptive crowd.”
Omanyala hopes that the victory will continue to inspire and encourage many Kenyans and pave the way for more sprinters.
“It needed someone to break the barrier because there will be so many other sprinters coming through. It will have a lot of impact now that I have two championship gold medals and an Africa record,” noted Omanyala, who has a personal best of 9.77 seconds.
Omanyala said that he used the challenges he faced towards the just concluded World Athletics Championships in Oregon as a stepping stone to good performance.
Visa hitches saw Omanyala arrive in Oregon just hours before the start of the 100m where he reached the semi-finals.
"It was about moving forward, using the setbacks to focus on the next adventure. Everything happens for a reason,” said Omanyala, who now turns his focus to the men’s 4x100m where he hopes to anchor his team to victory.