Let’s build on our African success and dominate in Oregon, Birmingham

Ferdinand Omanyala

African 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala (centre) joins Utamaduni Ngomas dancers for a jig at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on June 13, 2022 after Team Kenya arrived from Mauritius where they took part in the Africa Senior Athletics Championships.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • This competition will bring the who-is-who in athletics and you can therefore expect fireworks at the stadium.
  • Come and enjoy two great days of top-notch athletics as our countrymen and women battle to secure their place on the plane to the United States and the United Kingdom.

We will never tire in congratulating our athletes for their exceptional performance at last week’s Senior African Athletics Championship in Reduit, Mauritius.

A 23 medals haul is exemplary considering the calibre of the competition Team Kenya were up against.

The perfect icing on the cake was leading the medal standings with 10 gold, five silver and eight bronze medals.

If there were any doubts that the country’s grip as a continental power is loosening, this competition was a reminder that Kenya is a lion when it comes to athletics regardless of whether it is sleeping or roaring.

This was indeed a historic performance. It will be forever etched in my memory that it was here that we showcased that we are not only about long and middle-distance races but about sprints as well.

Kudos to the quartet of newly crowned African 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala, Dan Kiviasi, Samwel Imeta and Mike Mokamba for the 4x100m relay gold.

Indeed, it is my prayer that every young sprinter across the country has been inspired by this performance and is convinced that there is a future for sprinters from Kenya.

Nonetheless, we must not celebrate too much because bigger battles lie ahead. Let us not bask in the sunshine of glory for too long lest we become complacent.

Up ahead we have the World Championship in Oregon and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

As we embark on preparations for these mega competitions, it is imperative that athletes intensify their training and remain focused.

These two assignments, along with the World Under-20 Championship, are a different cup of tea from the African championships.

Having conquered Africa, many competitors have their eye out for global glory and are undoubtedly working around the clock in training.

This is not the time for an athlete to engage in sideshows that may sidetrack then from the main prize.

I urge athletes, remain true to your training programme, listen to your coaches and get enough rest as much as possible.

Luckily, I am not the first person to dole out this advice rather it has been the rallying call from several quarters ever since our heroes and heroines docked into the country on Monday.

With this repeated emphasis on preparations, it is my expectation that the message has been hammered home, loud and clear.

To all athletics fans, there is more to where that wonderful performance came from. Next weekend, we will be having national trials for the World Championship and Commonwealth Games at Moi Stadium, Kasarani.

This competition will bring the who-is-who in athletics and you can therefore expect fireworks at the stadium.

Come and enjoy two great days of top-notch athletics as our countrymen and women battle to secure their place on the plane to the United States and the United Kingdom.

A blessed weekend to you all.

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