•The National Police Service officer who is also a chemistry student at the University of Nairobi has pledged to punch above his weight to dislodge Bolt.
•Omanyala said he was keen on setting the momentum for future Kenyan sprinters.
Kenyan sprint sensation, Ferdinand Omanyala, has vowed to snatch the 100 metres world record from Jamaican icon Usain Bolt.
Bolt blazed to the world record in an astonishing 9.58 seconds at the 2009 IAAF World Championships.
Omanyala, on the other hand, powered himself into prominence after clocking 9.77 at the Nairobi Kip Keino Classic on September 18, 2021, to secure the African record.
The feat effectively made him the eighth fastest man of all time in the 100 metres.
The National Police Service officer who is also a chemistry student at the University of Nairobi has pledged to punch above his weight to dislodge Bolt.
“As we progress in my athletics career, my main aim is to run the world record and I've always been saying this. People don't believe me but I believe we'll run the world record at some point,” Omanyala said.
“I'm sure it won't take more than two years and I'm looking forward to running 9.6 this season and then taking it down shortly,” he added.
Omanyala, 26, said he was happy that many Kenyan athletes had begun making headway in the short races.
“The narrative has changed and I'm happy about it. I'm happy I'm the one who is causing the narrative to change. I hope once I'm done with the sport, we shall have more sprinters coming up,” Omanyala said.
“ I'm changing the perception that Kenyans can't sprint. When we first joined athletics, we never imagined that the African record could be broken by this generation of sprinters but I did break it, so I always count it as one of my biggest achievements in athletics.
He said performing well on the big stage calls for a great deal of mental fortitude and adequate preparation.
“It's 90 per cent mental when it comes to a race and for me to overcome that I always visualize my races three weeks earlier. I always run it in my mind so many times before the actual race.
“I imagine myself running with my competitors, I imagine myself doing the interviews after the race,” Omanyala said.
“So coming to the race is just a matter of actualizing what I've been imagining. There are always two sides to the race
"There are always two sides of a race: you either win or lose. So, I always visualize both, so that when I get into a race and something happens, it doesn't hit me that hard because I've already visualized that," he said.
“There is always so much pressure coming into championships and races, but once you get into the blocks there is no turning back. It's you and the finish line, it's you and the track and there is the point in having tension. Once I get into the track all my tension disappears.
Omanyala said he was keen on setting the momentum for future Kenyan sprinters.
“I need to mentor these young people because it's not that I'll be here forever, I won't be running forever. I'll need to be proud of myself that I mentored someone.
“I hope this goes a long way to encourage other athletes to take up sprints and believe it's possible,” Omanyala said.
Edited by Tony Mballa