Athletics

Omanyala caps off Olympic preparations with commanding win in Hengelo

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This was Omanyala's final race before the Paris Olympics

Africa’s fastest man, Ferdinand Omanyala, ramped up his preparations for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games with a commanding victory at the FBK Games in Hengelo, Netherlands, on Sunday.

The Kenyan sprinter, making his final 100m race appearance before the Olympics, burst out of the blocks with explosive speed, swiftly taking the lead and crossing the finish line with a winning time of 10.01 seconds. This victory underscores his readiness and peak performance as he heads to Paris.

Trailing closely behind was USA’s Ronnie Baker, who clocked 10.03 seconds, followed by Canadian Andre de Grasse in third with a time of 10.07 seconds. Omanyala’s performance in the rain-soaked race conditions highlighted his resilience and focus.

Omanyala's impressive win comes on the heels of his victory at the Paris Olympics Team Kenya Trials at Nyayo National Stadium, where he posted a world-leading time of 9.79 seconds. The Hengelo race, marked as his final competitive outing before the Olympic Games, was a significant personal achievement for the Commonwealth Games champion, who now shifts his focus to an intensive training camp in Miramas, Southern France.

On his performance, Omanyala stated, “As I told people, let us handle each day as it comes and let us trust the process. We were hoping to peak in July/August, and that is what we are seeing now. We will go to the camp and do more competitive reps. We were doing just one or two reps but now it will be intense.”

In other events featuring Kenyan athletes on Sunday, 2022 Commonwealth Games silver medalist Nicholas Kipkorir finished second in the 5000m race with a time of 13:02.25, trailing race winner Telahun Bekele who clocked 13:01.12. Ethiopian Worku Tadese took third with a personal best of 13:02.56.

Kenyan runners Cornelius Kemboi and Daniel Kinyanjui secured fourth and sixth positions in the same race, recording times of 13:09.76 and 13:24.53 (personal best) respectively. In the women’s 1500m event, Mary Ekiru achieved a personal best of 4:05.00, finishing sixth. Great Britain’s Melissa Courtney Bryant won the race in 4:03.58, followed by USA’s Danielle Jones and Sweden’s Yolanda Ngarambe in second and third place.

The closing race saw Olympian Sifan Hassan, who had been favored to win, finishing fifth with a season-best time of 4:04.83 after fading in the final stretch.

In the 800m, Team GB’s Keely Hodgkinson showcased her dominance with a winning time of 1:57.36, establishing herself as the main contender for Kenya’s Mary Moraa in the Paris Olympics.

 

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