Ferdinand Omanyala Omurwa is a Kenyan athlete whose prowess on the track has got Kenyans talking. Kenyans have thrived in athletics-especially in marathon races-but continue to struggle in short distance races. Omanyala is an amazing talent whose speed in the 100m race is about to break the curse of the short distance races. During a function by Odibets, Jalang’o who was a Master of ceremony described his promising future saying he has what it takes to conquer the world. He went on to reveal he is one of the talented Kenyans being supported by the gaming company.
Recently, Ferdinand Omanyala together with his fellow runner Mark Otieno qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
“I was planning for a sub-10 but that will come later. Worked the whole COVID-19 break without competition and it has finally paid off. We have been competing against each other in the few races we have had and it’s great that we have made it together,” Omanyala said after qualifying.
Born on 2nd January 1996, Omanyala studied at Friends School Kamusinga from 2010 to 2014. He is a Bachelor of Science student at the College of Biological and Physical Sciences in Nairobi University.
The multi talented youngster first love was rugby. Through the game, he learnt skill and speed, things that really helped him when he decided to take part in athletics.
On 23rd January 2021, at the Nyayo National Stadium, he broke the record by running the 100m race in 10.1 seconds. He clocked the fastest time in Kenya in the race in the second leg of Athletics Kenya Relays Series.
After this win, he not only wanted to represent Kenya internationally but he also wanted to be able to complete the race in 10 seconds.
“I intend to compete abroad. It’s time to go international now. The performance is as a result of the good preseason I had with the Kenya Sevens rugby team in November and December. It’s a shame my time won’t be ratified as a national record but God’s time is the best. It will come gradually,” he said.
His record time made him qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
In 2017, the 26-year-old served a 14 month ban after being found guilty of using a prohibited substance-glucocorticoid betamethasone-by the Kenya Anti-doping agency (Adak). It was not clear whether Athletics Kenya (AK) would allow him to run after this but his lawyer argued that he deserved a second chance. They were willing to request IOS to let him run as an independent Olympian from Kenya if Athletics Kenya was not willing to assist him. The champion further revealed that he had learnt from his mistakes.
AK Competitions Director Paul Mutwii has no kind words for the 26 year speedstar saying he cannot wear the Kenyan vest for his offence. He told Mozzart Sports:
“It is very clear that when you have been sanctioned for a doping offense no matter how slight it looks you cannot wear the Kenyan vest in an international competition. That is a directive that the President of the Republic of Kenya signed and so there cannot be any dispute about it…”
100m national record
The sprinter went on to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after serving his ban and put Kenya on the world map. He reached the semi-finals but could not proceed to the finals after he came third in his heat. Omanyala clocked 10.00 seconds, breaking his own record of 10.01.
His form has continued to show remarkable improvement after he set a new 100 metres national record after running a sub 10 second in Austria. He clocked 9.86s becoming the first Kenyan to dip under 10 seconds. Omanyala’s personal best of 9.77 seconds is the fastest time in the 100m race in Africa.