Photo credit: Deji Ogeyingbo

After launching his 2023 season with some superb performances, African 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala hopes to deliver his first official sub-10 second performances of the campaign at the opening two legs of the ASA Grand Prix Series.

Omanyala will turn out at the first meeting of the series in Tshwane on Wednesday night and the Kenyan sprinter will compete again at the second leg in Germiston next week (19 April).

“My goal is to run under 10 seconds in both the Grand Prix 1 and 2 events,” Omanyala said. “Training is going well and I’m looking forward to a great season. It already took off with a great start, so I’m expecting very fast times this year.”

Omanyala, who won the African Championships and Commonwealth Games 100m titles last year, has been explosive in the early stages of the season. He set a Kenyan national record of 6.54s in the 60m indoor sprint in France in February and he clocked 9.81s over 100m in Nairobi, though his result at that meeting did not include a wind recording.

While he will not face SA record holder Akani Simbine in Tshwane on Wednesday, Omanyala will need to outclass a strong field which includes rising teenage star Benjamin Richardson.

Despite not being able to face Simbine at this early stage of the season, the Kenyan star had only good things to say about his South African counterpart.

Simbine won the national 100m title at the recent ASA Senior Championships in Potchefstroom, clocking an impressive 9.92 in the semi-finals, with Omanyala watching from the stands.

“Akani is a great athlete. He ran well at the nationals,” Omanyala said. “Hats off to him for taking the SA title five times. I pray he has a good season ahead.”


Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


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