MAJOR BUILD-UP

Omanyala use Hengelo race to gauge his readiness for Paris

This race is a crucial part of the 28-year-old’s buildup for the Paris Olympics, with the athletics events starting on August 1.

In Summary

•At the Olympic trials held two weeks ago at Nyayo National Stadium, Omanyala clocked a world-leading 9.79 seconds in the men’s 100m.

• Nicholas Kipkorir, the 2022 Commonwealth 5,000m silver medallist, will spearhead Kenya’s charge in the Netherlands

Ferdinand Omanyala during this year's Kip Keino Classic at Nyayo Stadium
Ferdinand Omanyala during this year's Kip Keino Classic at Nyayo Stadium
Image: FILE

The world's fastest man at the moment, Ferdinand Omanyala, will gauge his Olympic readiness against 2012 Olympic silver medallist Yohan Blake at the FBK Games in Hengelo, Netherlands, on July 7.

This race is a crucial part of the 28-year-old’s buildup for the Paris Olympics, with the athletics events starting on August 1.

At the Olympic trials held two weeks ago at Nyayo National Stadium, Omanyala clocked a world-leading 9.79 seconds in the men’s 100m.

Mark Otieno followed in 10.12, while national champion Meshack Babu finished third with 10.20.

Omanyala has competed in three other 100m races this year. He began with a fifth place at the Kip Keino Classic on April 20 clocking 10.03.

USA’s Kenneth Bednarek (9.91), Liberia’s Emmanuel Matadi (9.99), and Britain’s Jeremiah Azu (10.00) took the podium spots.

He then placed second at the Prefontaine Classic on May 25, with a time of 9.98, trailing 2019 World Champion Christian Coleman (9.95).

His most recent race was at the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston, Jamaica, on June 1, where he clocked 10.02 for third place behind world champion Noah Lyles (9.85) and Jamaica’s Oblique Seville (9.82).

Blake holds a silver medal from the 2012 Olympic Games in London,  where he clocked 9.75 behind Usain Bolt (9.63).

He also helped his team comprised of Bolt, Michael Frater and Nesta Carter to clinch gold and set a world record of 36.84 in the 4x100m relay at the games in London.

Blake is also a world champion from the 2011 games in Daegu, Korea, clocking 9.92.

Athletics Kenya (AK) youth development chairman, Barnaba Korir said  Omanyala will join other sprinters at the low-altitude training camp in Miramas after his race.

“Omanyala will join the rest of the sprinters at the low-altitude training camp in Miramas after his race. The other sprinters will leave for Miramas on July 7. The entire team will depart for Paris on July 30,” Korir stated.

Team Kenya will have three sprinters for the Olympics; Omanyala (100m), Wiseman Were (400m hurdles) and Zablon Ekwam (400m).

The field will also feature 2023 African champion Emmanuel Eseme of Cameroon and Olympic 200m champion Andre De Grasse of Canada.

2015 world youth champion Abdul Hakim of Japan, two-time European champion Churandy Martina of Netherlands and 2018 European silver medallist Reece Prescod of Great Britain will also feature. 

 Nicholas Kipkorir, the 2022 Commonwealth 5,000m silver medallist, will spearhead Kenya’s charge in the Netherlands. Kipkorir boasts a PB of 12:46.33 set at the 2022 Golden Gala in Italy.

He will be joined by 2018 World U20 silver medallist Stanley Mburu and African bronze medallist Cornelius Kemboi.

The trio will have to fend off fierce rivalry from Ethiopia’s Kuma Girma, 2022 World U20 champion Addisu Yihune and Telahun Bekele.

In the women's 1,500m, African bronze medallist Mary Ekiru and 2021 World U20 champion Purity Chepkirui will face off against Commonwealth bronze medallist Melissa Courtney of Great Britain.