AREAS OF FOCUS

Mastering start and finish key for Paris Olympics, says Omanyala

“My start has been improving with each race. I started with the 60m and indoor races to ensure I get it right,” said Omanyala.

In Summary

• His next phase of training will begin after his race in Hengelo, Netherlands, on Sunday.

• In Hengelo, Omanyala will go head-to-head against two-time Olympic gold and silver medallist Yohan Blake of Jamaica as well as the 200m Olympic champion Andre De Grasse of Canada.

Ferdinand Omanyala training at the Moi Stadium Kasarani on July 1, 2024
Ferdinand Omanyala training at the Moi Stadium Kasarani on July 1, 2024
Image: TEDDY MULEI

Africa's fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala believes mastering his start off the blocks and the final kick will be key to his quest for Olympic glory at Paris 2024.

Omanyala, the second fastest sprinter over 100m this season, said: “My start has been improving with each race. I started doing the 60m and indoor races to ensure I get it right.”

Omanyala and fellow sprinters Wiseman Were (400m hurdles) and Zablon Ekwam (400m) have been hard artwork at their Moi Stadium, Kasarani, residential training camp.

The 28-year-old competed at the Meeting de Paris on February 11, winning the 60m race in 6.51. He ran the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, clocking 6.56 for fourth.

"My final 50m surge is returning. After building too much muscle, I struggled to maintain top speed and acceleration to the finish line. I've turned those struggles into my strengths ahead of Paris," he added.

“The last few races have been great. I am number two in the world, a big motivation going into the Olympics,” Omanyala noted.

Omanyala ran 9.98 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, in May, finishing second.

He clocked 10.02 for third at the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston, Jamaica, before clinching a world-leading 9.79 at the Kenyan Olympic trials.

His world lead, however, was surpassed by Jamaica’s Kishane Thompson, who ran 9.77 at the islanders' Olympic trials.

Omanyala is eager to face top sprinters from the USA and Jamaica in Paris.

“Athletes have to be at their best at the US and Jamaican trials and I hope we all have good health to judge our preparations on the track in Paris,” Omanyala stated.

He is scheduled to compete at the Hengelo Metting on Sunday, his last race before heading to Paris.

"Training has been excellent. I completed my second training phase before the Olympic trials. I am maintaining my form for the next phase — after Hengelo," said Omanyala.

"The race in Hengelo is vital for my Olympic build-up. Positive results here will set a solid foundation for Paris."

He sees the Hengelo meet as a key opportunity for him and his coach, Geoffrey Kimani, to identify areas to improve before the global showpiece.

"After the race, we'll pinpoint areas to improve and weaknesses to address. Hengelo will guide our Olympic camp strategy in Miramas," he added.

In Hengelo, Omanyala will go head-to-head with two-time Olympic gold and silver medallist Yohan Blake of Jamaica and Olympic 200m champion Andre De Grasse of Canada.

Others are Africa 100m champion Emmanuel Eseme of Cameroon, 2015 World Youth champion Abdul Hakim of Japan, Netherlands duo of Churandy Martina and Raphael Bouju, Britain’s Reece Prescod and South Africa’s Benjamin Richardson.