Omanyala eyeing powerful, historic end to the season in Sunday Croatia race

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 11 – Commonwealth Champion Ferdinand Omanyala lines up at the Memorial Borisa Hanžekovića in Zagreb, Croatia on Sunday night, looking to end his season in perfect style at the World Athletics Continental Gold Tour meet.

Omanyala who has had a pair of second spot finishes in his last two races in Switzerland and Germany now hopes to finish off in style, and is looking at the probability of ending his season with the Personal Best time, just like he did last season.

“I am hopeful for the best. I am feeling nice and I am looking forward for a great race. I am looking to end the season on a high and probably finish with a personal best like I did last year,” Omanyala told Capital Sport from his training base in Italy.

Looking back at the year, Omanyala says this has been his best in his career so far, having finished with three gold medals.

Ferdinand Omanyala became Kenya’s first Commonwealth Games 100 metres champion PHOTO/Kelly Ayodi

He won the African Championship gold in 100m and the 4x100m relay as well as the Commonwealth Games title, where he became the first Kenyan in 60 years to win a sprint title.

His only blemish was the World Championships, but his performance was affected by off-field matters having arrived three hours to his race in Oregon.

“I can say that this season has been the best. We planned to achieve medals and we did so apart from the World Championships but I don’t have regrets. It is always about lessons. We learn and move on,” said the Kenyan sprint King.

Last season, he finished the campaign by coming home second in the Kip Keino Classic, where he clocked 9.77 which now ranks as his personal best and the African record.

In Zagreb, Omanyala hopes for similar fortunes as he runs in another Continental Gold Tour meet.

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Ferdinand Omanyala is the fastest man in Africa

He will come up against Marvin Bracy, the man who beat him by a hundredth of a second in Lucerne, Switzerland a fortnight ago.

Omanyala will not only be hoping for revenge, but a monster performance.

“It is a good, strong and competitive field and definitely I will be looking towards doing my best,” he added.

Apart from Bracy, the field will also include fellow American Kyree King with a PB of 9.96, as well as Reyner Menner from Cuba, the other athlete with a sub-10 PB, with a 9.99 lifetime best.

Other Kenyans expected to compete in Croatia include Daniel Simiu and reigning 1500m World Under-20 Champion Reynold Cheruiyot who will compete in the men’s 3,000m as well as African Champion Winny Chebet and World U20 steeplechase champion Faith Cherotich who will run in the one mile race.

African 100 metres champion Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala competes during the World Championships

Meanwhile, Omanyala has disclosed that he will have his training camp in Italy next year, having trained there in between his season-ending European races.

“We have been travelling around trying to find the best place to hold a camp ahead of Budapest (World Championships) next year and Italy has been good fir me. So next year, I will be training here before the World Champs,” he added.


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