Omanyala gets down to business
Africa 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala (pictured) will make his track debut at the Commonwealth Games today with an eye on tomorrow’s final. The race comes a few days after Omanyala together with women’s wheelchair basketballer Carolina Wanjira had the honours of being Kenya’s flag bearers during the opening ceremony of the 22nd Commonwealth Games on Thursday at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham, England.
“That was a sweet moment for me, being chosen as the flag bearer for my country in a colourful ceremony. That is now behind me. I have to think about what matters most, competing on the track,” said Omanyala.
Omanyala’s 100m race in Birmingham starts with the first round and semi-finals on Tuesday August 2, while the final takes place the following day.
“I have to focus and get the job done on the first day becauae I want to be in the final and fight for silverware,” he added.
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 World championships in Eugene, Oregon late and worn out.
“I think that is now behind me, I was in Birmingham early enough so there is no reason to reflect on what happened, I am looking forward to a good race generally,” said Omanyala.
Kenya being represented by 127 sportsmen and women at the Birmingham Games that is having the largest number of competitors, 5,054, drawn from 72 nations.
The competitors are fighting for medals in 20 disciplines and eight para sports will feature, making it the biggest programme ever for Commonwealth Games.
Kenya’s best performance at the Games came during the 2010 Delhi, India and 2014 Glasgow, Scotland Games.
In Delhi, the country hauled 32 medals; 12 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze with all the medals coming from athletics except three; one gold in swimming and two bronze in boxing.
Kenya managed 5 medals; 10 gold, 10 silver and five bronze from Glasgow with all the medals coming from athletics except two bronze medals by Benson Gicharu (boxing) and Joyce Wambui Njuguna (weightlifting).
Kenya’s performance dipped at the previous 2018 Gold Coast Games, Australia where they collected 17 medals; four gold, seven silver and six bronze.
All the medals came from athletics once again except Christine Ongare’s history bronze in boxing.
Five days to the event Kenya has two medals, silver and bronze won in the women’s and men’s marathon respectively.