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Omanyala pledges masterstroke in Birmingham after Oregon heartbreak

Omanyala congratulated Fred Kerley for running away with the title

In Summary

•Omanyala surmounted a visa hitch to reach Oregon before cruising to the semi-final of the 100m, making him the first Kenyan to achieve the milestone.

•Omanyala admitted that failure to get a visa on time saw him arrive for the event late and worn out.

Africa sprint champion Ferdinand Omanyala displaying his gold medal
Africa sprint champion Ferdinand Omanyala displaying his gold medal
Image: PSCU

Africa 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala has vowed to bounce back strongly from his woes in Oregon and record an improved time at the forthcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Omanyala surmounted a visa hitch to reach Oregon before cruising to the semi-final of the 100m, making him the first Kenyan to achieve the milestone.

He, however, failed to make it to the final of the race on Sunday morning, clocking 10.14 seconds to finish fifth in his heat. 

In an exclusive interview with Capital Sports on Tuesday, Omanyala said he would brush aside his heartbreaking experience as he sets his sights on a podium finish in Birmingham. 

“I'm looking forward to a great championship in Birmingham and I'll just get back to training and gauge the state of my body. I'm looking forward to better the time that I ran here and enjoy and have fun,” Omanyala said.

Omanyala admitted that failure to get a visa on time saw him arrive for the event late and worn out.

“It was a long journey but I thank the ministry for booking me into a business class which made my journey less hectic,” Omanyala said in an interview with Capital FM.

“At least I got to sleep a bit but you can't escape the jetlag as long as you are in the air. It was easy because at least I got to run in the last heat. I did some warm-up and qualified for the semi-finals. From the semi-finals, it was a bit hard because I woke feeling so heavy.”

“I was getting some better starts but I couldn't just get the acceleration that I usually have. I never had that push that carries me through the last 50m. I guess that's where the time was not going to be good.”

He admitted that he was under immense pressure to scale unprecedented heights but managed to contain the situation nonetheless.

“There has been a lot of pressure and attention on me but I always say it's all on you. As humans, we tend to succumb to pressure in some situations but for me, I always say just smile, relax and everything else will fall in place.

“We'll pick it up again, we'll have another Championship next year. We have a whole year to prepare and this time I hope we'll get there much earlier.”

He described his season as wonderful, saying he had achieved more than he had envisioned.

“This has been a great season. We started way back in February with the indoor games where I broke the national record.

“I then went to the Africa Championship and bagged two gold medals in the relay and 100 metres which was a historic moment for Kenya..”

Omanyala congratulated Fred Kerley for running away with the title, jokingly insisting he would have beaten him if he had made the final.

“I expected him to win because he has been running fast since the beginning of the heats. I'm sorry I wasn't there because I could have beaten him and I live to fight another day.”