Omanyala Leads Kenya to Fourth Gold in Continental Competitions

Kenyan  African Record Holder and Sprint Sensation Ferdinard Omanayala
Kenyan African Record Holder and Sprint Sensation Ferdinard Omanayala

Kenyan sprinting sensation, Ferdinand Omanyala, on Friday, June 10, led Kenya's relay team to clinch the country's fourth gold  medal at the Africa Athletics Championships in Mauritius.

Omanyala, who was lined up to complete the final stretch of the 4 by 100 metres relay, dashed to the finish line to clock a time of 39.28 seconds.

Speaking to the press after the victory, he lauded teammates Samwel Imeta, Dan Kiviasi, and Mike Mokamba, stating that it was a collective effort. He added that the time had come for Kenya to shine in short races.

"The world should get used to seeing more sprinters from Kenya. Now we have a strong relay team and soon we will be on the world stage," he noted.

Also readKenyan Athlete Breaks Eliud Kipchoge's Record 

All teams that secured a podium finish completed the sprint race in under 40 seconds, with South Africa (39.79) and Zimbabwe (39.81) coming in second and third places respectively.

This was the second time in as many days that the Kenyan athletes have upset their South African counterparts who have dominated the competitions in past years.

On June 9, Omanyala asserted his title as Africa's fastest man by beating Akani Simbine in the 100-metre race. The in-form athlete edged Simbine by 0.003 seconds.

He broke the continental record of 9.94 seconds set by Nigeria's Seun Ogunkoya in 1998. In addition, he broke a 32-year deadlock in which Joseph Gikonyo was the last Kenyan to clinch the title in 1990.

Kenya's medal tally currently stands at 10 - four gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze. Kenya's two other gold medals were won by Winny Chebet, in the Women's1,500m race and Beatrice Chebet who crossed the finish line first in the Women’s 5,000m.

Nicholas Kiplagat bagged silver in the Men’s 800m while Purity Chepkurui finished second in the Women's 1,500m race.

The bronze medals were won by Geoffrey Kirwa, Caroline Nyaga and Veronica Mutua in the 3,000m steeplechase, 5,000m  and Women’s 400m races respectively.

The 4x400m mixed relay team of Collins Omae, William Rayan, Veronica Mutua and Jarinter Mawia also bagged a bronze medal.