Olympic Trials: Ferdinand Omanyala sets new national record,bags Olympic slot with aplomb


Sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala set a new national record after winning the men’s 100m with a time of 10.02 seconds attaining the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifying mark during the Olympics games trials at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani, Nairobi.

Omanyala was 4 seconds quicker than his closest rival and former national record holder Mark Otieno who clocked 10.05 seconds to finish second. Otieno also clinched his maiden Olympic games ticket.

Okot Benson of Uganda was placed third in 10.51 seconds. The Olympics qualifying mark for 100m is 10.05seconds.

Omanyala endured a nervy start including three false starts to win the race in 10.01 seconds. He had earlier qualified for the Olympic Games in April at the Yabatech Sports Complex in Lagos Nigeria where he posted 10.01 seconds.

The race was however unsanctioned and Athletics Kenya could not ratify his mark.

‘’The false starts made it happen. I was planning for a sub-10 but that will come later. Worked the whole Covid-19 break without competition and it has finally paid off. We have been competing against each other in the few races we have had and it great that we have made it together’’ Omanyala said .

On his part Mark Otieno who held the national 100m record at 10.09 was ecstatic following his qualification.

‘’I am happy that the two of us have made it. It has been a long journey. God has come at the right time. I have been looking for this since January. The false starts made me nervous but we cannot argue with technology. Ferdinand is good and we need such pressure to make it to such high level competition. I missed Rio but I had a dream and surely God has come at the right time. It is amazing that I ran in borrowed spikes’’, Said Mark Otieno.


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