Kenyan who's only 0.53 seconds slower than Usain Bolt seeks Olympic slot

for Tv47 Digital May 04, 2021, 01:45 AM
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National 100m champion Mark Otieno is expected to meet his closest rival Ferdinand Omanyala in the 100 meters finals of the second day of the Athletics Kenya (AK) competitions at Kasarani Stadium today.

In the semifinals yesterday, Otieno floored Omanyala after clocking 10.17 seconds. Omanyala had a slow start and registered 10.32 seconds at the ticker tape.

The two are expected to meet today in the 100 metres finals. Omanyala has been in form this season. Earlier this year, he received a Ksh500,000 from a betting firm to propagate his talent.

The University of Nairobi student has been regarded as Kenya’s fastest man in the 100 metres and was sensational during the opening leg of the AK Relay series in January.

The sprinter hit the headlines when he clocked a national record of 10.11 seconds. However, the record was not ratified as it was deemed to have been wind-assisted.

With that behind him Omanyala will be looking forward to redeeming himself today as he prepares another proper assault at the 10.14 seconds record held by Otieno.

Omalanya’s hunger for sub-10:00 seconds is clear. Considering the world 100 metres record is 9:58 seconds - as set by Jamaican Usain Bolt in the 2009 IAAF World Championships, Omanyala's 10.11 seconds holds much promise. The final today promises to be nothing short of speed.

Other races that are expected to bring out the best of the athletes is the 15km walk race pitting national champion Samuel Gathimba against Boniface Ndigiti, and Erick Shikuku.

Athletes are competing for the limited spots ahead of the Tokyo Olympics set for July this year.

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