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Omanyala shines in Italy

Tuesday, May 24th, 2022 03:20 | By
Ferdinand Omanyala in action during the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia in March. PHOTO/ SPORTPICHA

Africa 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala continued with his impressive run of fine form ahead of the 61st Golden Spike Continental Gold Tour meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic at the end of the month.

It comes after he won the men’s 100m at the International Castiglione Athletics Meeting at Stadio Zecchini in Grosseto, Italy on Sunday night.

Omanyala crossed the line in 10.11 seconds, beating Ivorian Arthur Cisse, who came second in 10.14. Home athlete Fostine Desalu settled for the third spot in 10.33, at the World Athletics Continental Challenger event.

“This is part of my preparations for Ostrava,” said Omanyala.

“I have one more stop in Germany before I can fully focus on the race at the end of the month where the stakes are high,” added the Kenyan national record holder who also finished second in men’s 200m, beating his previous best of 20.90.

Omanyala says the anticipated showdown with his idol Yohan Blake is the driving force before the race in Ostrava. The 26-year old sprint star looked up to Jamaican print star Johan Blake while beginning his athletics career and he now feels that it would be a pleasure going up against him in a meet, and he is already relishing the duel.

Looked up to him

“I grew up a huge fan of Blake and so it would always be a pleasure to compete against such talented athletes. Blake is a legend and has been in the sport for a long time and I looked up to him. But now, I am at the top and I will go with an aim of beating him then we have a chat later,” Omanyala told People Sport.

He added: “I always say, they are people like us. They don’t use petrol and we use blood. So I will always cherish a challenge against the best.”

Omanyala and Blake, a two-time individual Olympic silver medalist and the 100m World Champion from 2011 are the two highlighted athletes who are expected to star in the sprint in the North East City of the Czech Republic.

Omanyala who won the Kip Keino Classic in a World Lead time of 9.85 on May 7 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, further says he will race at the diamond league after next month's Africa Senior Athletics Championships.

“I want a major title beside my records, so the championship in Mauritius are important to me,” he added.

Currently, Omanyala is using these races to build up towards the African Championships set for June 8-12 in Mauritius as well as the Commonwealth Games and World Championships trials scheduled for June 24 and 25.

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