Duncan Ayiemba - How I turned Ferdinand Omanyala from rugby player to sprint sensation

Ferdinand Omanyala after winning a past event. In the circle is his coach Duncan Ayiemba.

Duncan Ayiemba - How I turned Ferdinand Omanyala from rugby player to sprint sensation

06:30 - 24.07.2023

Ayiemba, Omanyala's coach, has revealed how a collarbone injury suffered by the sprint sensation helped convince him into switching to track.

Kenyan sprinting hotshot Ferdinand Omanyala’s coach Duncan Ayiemba has revealed how he influenced the speedstar into switching from rugby to athletics.

Ayiemba has revealed he convinced Africa's fastest man into switching to athletics, citing how dangerous rugby is to him before he ended up suffering from a grueling collarbone injury during his days playing the sport.

“To be honest, I influenced him. His friends also played a part in making him reverse his decision,” Ayiemba told Arocho Live, “ I told him rugby is a contact sport and that he stood a chance of being injured in the sport,” he added.

“I told him, ‘you have speed, but you will meet an opponent who will finish you one day’.  That is exactly what happened. He ended up suffering from a  collarbone injury once, which further discouraged him from continuing with the sport.”

Ayemba has revealed how Omanyala’s sheer determination has also pushed him into becoming a better coach, as it has forced him into expanding his knowledge in order to help shape the 26-year-old’s career in athletics.

“Omanyala is a determined character. He has also helped me research more on how to improve his running. You cannot help someone who wants to improve if you have leaky knowledge, so I have had to expand my knowledge on sprinting to help him.”

Given the challenge of incurring heavy expenses during journeys to foreign lands where Omanyala has continued to advance his reputation, Ayiemba has tended to rely on virtual Zoom calls to help him when he travels, which keeps him on his toes.

“Most times, I do not travel with him given our package does not allow for both of us to go together, and Kenya has not reached such a level,  so we handle virtual calls when he goes abroad.”

Omanyala is currently readying himself by taking part in the Monaco Diamond league on Friday night, as build up for the World Championships set to take place in Budapest, Hungary from 19-27 August.