Will Omanyala’s dream come true?
Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala says he is capable of beating Usain Bolt’s 100m world record of 9.58 seconds.
Omanyala’s immediate focus is away from the 100m, as he is part of the field for the 60m at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Serbia, which started on Friday.
The 26-year-old holds the African record over the 100m with a time of 9.77s and believes improving over the shorter distance can help him break Bolt’s mark.
“I believe nothing is impossible. The world record is not an exception,” Omanyala told BBC Sport Africa.
“I believe that if there is anyone who can break that record, it is me. You see the African record, when I started sprinting people thought it would never be broken in this millennium or decade. But we did it last year, Omanyala said.
“It just needs the perfect race. I have very good acceleration and top-end speed, and now I am improving on my start. Cutting that time won’t be hard,” he added.
Omanyala’s record-setting sprint made him the eighth-fastest man of all time but came after he served a 14-month doping ban in 2017. He returned a positive drugs test for a banned substance, and he claims he was ‘a victim of circumstance’ after taking a painkiller which he said had a steroid in it.
He has run 6.57s over 60m this season as he heads to the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade.
“I was in France for the tour and I achieved what I wanted,” Omanyala said. “I wanted to run a 6.5 and I did. I am looking forward to dipping under that.”
Omanyala believes the 60m can help him achieve his goals over 100m, having reached the semi-finals at the Tokyo Olympics last year.
“I really love the 100 metres,” he added. “The 60 metres, I treat it more or less as training. It is training just to build up towards the 100m and to improve the start.”
“I don’t put pressure on myself. Every time I compete, I want to achieve a target. I have a target I have set so when I achieve the target that is my own personal achievement,” he said
“I don’t always look at what the community is putting on me.
Omanyala said that he is looking forward to running fast times and possibly getting under 9.58.
“We have started at 10.01 in March. So, you can imagine in four months, with competition, what will happen,” he stated.
If he is to win a global title, he will have to beat the likes of the Italian 100m Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs and the reigning indoor champion, Christian Coleman from the United States.