Omanyala to do the double at International Castiglione Meeting

Ferdinand Omanyala

Kenya's Ferdinand Omanyala celebrates after crossing the finish line to win the men's 100m race during the Kip Keino Classic Gold Tour at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on May 7, 2022.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Omanyala, who arrived in Italy on Friday, is preparing for African Senior Championships slated for June 8-12 in Mauritius.  

All eyes will be on the fastest man in the world this year Ferdinand Omanyala at the International Castiglione Athletic Meeting at Zecchini Stadium in Grosseto, Italy on Sunday.

The 26-year-old will compete in both the 100m and 200m in Castiglione della Pescaia.

Omanyala boasts of the eighth fastest time in the history of 100 metres in 9.77 seconds set when he finished in second place at the 2021 Kip Keino Classic at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi.

He won the Kip Keino Classic title this year in a world leading time of 9.85 after outsprinting closest rival American Fred Kerley, the Olympic silver medallist.

Omanyala will start as the favourite for the title at the World Athletics Continental Tour Challenger event.

He has won all his six 100-metre races this year with times faster than the Castiglione meet record of 10.31 held by Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs since May 2019. This record will be in danger of being erased.

In 100m, Omanyala is in a field of 14 runners including Arthur Cisse (9.93) from Ivory Coast, Travis Collins from Guyana (10.17), Italian Wanderson Polanco (10.21) and Ugandan Benson Okot (10.38).

His main rival African silver medallist Cisse has a season best of 10.09 from Meeting International Citta' Di Savona held in Italy on May 18.

Omanyala, who has a personal best of 20.92 in 200m he ran at the Kasarani Stadium in March 2020, will face 13 other competitors including Italians Fostine Desalu (20.13) and Ali Chuturu (20.40) and Jan Jirka from Czech (20.45) over the distance.

Omanyala’s season best in 200m is 21.04 which he ran during the ASA Athletics Grand Prix 3 at McArthur Stadium in Potchefstroom, South Africa last month. The Castiglione 200m meet record of 20.78 is held by Italian Matteo Galvan since May 2016.

Other Kenyans competing in Castiglione della Pescaia are Boniface Kibiwott (5000m), Hillary Kibiwott (800m) and Brenda Chebet and Mirriam Cherop (1500m).

From Castiglione della Pescaia, Omanyala will head to Dessau in Germany for more build-up races and then to Czech Republic for the Ostrava Golden Spike on May 31.

“I will do 100 metres except this one in Italy where I’ll do both 100 and 200,” Omanyala told Nation Sport.

Omanyala, who arrived in Italy on Friday, is preparing for African Senior Championships slated for June 8-12 in Mauritius.  

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