Omanyala beats large field of nominees to be named Sports Personality of August

Friday, September 23rd, 2022 02:21 | By
Omanyala Commonwealth games
Ferdinand Omanyala celebrates after winning gold at the Commonwealth Games. PHOTO/AFP

Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala has been named the Sports Personality of the month of August.

Omanyala achieved the feat after winning gold in 100m during the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

The 26-year-old star athlete became the first Kenyan in 60 years to win the Commonwealth Games 100m title after blistering through the final.

He emulated Seraphino Antao, the first and only Kenyan to win the 100m sprint at the Club games in 1962 back when the race was 100 yards.

Cameo performance

Omanyala clocked 10.02 seconds to restrict defending champion Akani Simbine from South Africa to second place in 10.13 sec.

To win the August gong, Omanyala beat a strong field of nominees among them rugby star Billy Odhiambo who racked up his 100th career try at the World Rugby Sevens in Los Angeles, 800m runner Mary Moraa who won Kenya’s fourth gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth and Hellen Wawira who claimed bronze in the para-power lifting competition also in Birmingham.

World 1500m women’s champion Faith Kipyegon was also on the list of nominees with the second fastest time in history.

Other nominees included netball player Beatrice Bucho, Jackeline Chepkoech for winning the 3000m steeplechase gold at the Commonwealth Games, Faisal Aden of the Equity basketball team and Faith Cherotich for winning the 3000m Steeplechase gold at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Pascual Guerrero Stadium.

Omanyala has won the award twice after his initial feat in September 2021 and hopes to break Angela Okutoyi’s record of three in the LG East Africa-sponsored award.

“It’s such a great feeling to win the award twice within a span of 12 months. My success in Birmingham will no doubt continue to inspire and encourage many Kenyans over and above paving the way for many other local sprinters to come through,” he said.

He added: “I feel a lot motivated to keep improving my personal best of 9.77 seconds given that I have two gold medals and an Africa record.”

LG East Africa Marketing and communication manager Maureen Kemunto said: “LG has been actively supporting the identification and recognition of sporting talent in Kenya through a partnership with SJAK.”

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