•The Tokyo Olympics semi-finalist has in the past earmarked his start as his main Achilles heel
•Interacting with such world beaters has erased his fear and pressure of competing at an international level
•Omanyala will also compete at this weekend's AK Track and Field Weekend Meeting at Nyayo Stadium
National 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala says he is buzzing for the World Indoor Championship in Belgrade, Serbia on March 18-20 after improving on his start.
The Tokyo Olympics semi-finalist has in the past pinpointed his start as his main Achilles heel and has been running in the World Indoor tours to brush up on the same.
"For the most part of last year, I was really struggling with my start. After running at the World Indoor tours, I can say that it is no longer a weakness. The next stop is the World Indoor Championships before I come back to the outdoor competitions," Omanyala said.
The Kitale-born sprinter has had a February to remember, breaking the national 60m record on three different occasions.
His latest feat came at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais in Lievin, France on February 18 when he clocked 6.57 to finish fourth.
Olympic 100m champion Jacobs Marcell of Italy won the race in 6.50 as the American duo of Cravont Charleston and Elijah Hall came second and third in 6.52 and 6.57 respectively.
The African 100m record holder added that interacting with such world-beaters has erased his fear and pressure of competing at an international level.
"Actually, they (Marcell and Co.) are basically like us. It was a close competition because he only beat me by around six or seven microseconds. I realised most of them were scared of me so we couldn't talk much. Competitors don't usually like to talk to each other for fear you will steal their secrets," he explained.
Part of his plans to prepare for his upcoming major events is to compete at this weekend's Athletics Kenya Track and Field Weekend Meeting at Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi.
The third leg of the annual event was initially slated for Embu but was shifted to the capital after consultations with the Eastern region.
Omanyala is expectant of a great race, his first-ever on home soil since September's Kip Keino Classic.
"It will be a great feeling to run on home soil after quite a long time. I promise to put on a show for everyone considering there will be a record turnout in the stadium," he said.
The sprints have been one of the most hotly-contested thus far and Omanyala expects the same trend to continue on Friday and Saturday.
"It's all about taking it one day at a time. It won't be easy competing against other sprinters who will be looking to get a good result. It's good to see many more coming into the sport," Omanyala said.
He added: "I would advise those who are starting out not to be discouraged. It doesn't come quickly but requires a lot of patience. I saw some runners timed 12 seconds in the previous legs. I would like to encourage them to keep going."