Ferdinand Omanyala & Akani Simbine to renew rivalry in Atlanta

Ferdinand Omanyala & Akani Simbine to renew rivalry in Atlanta

Joel Omotto 17:36 - 17.05.2024

Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala will take on South African rival Akani Simbine among others as he seeks to bounce back from his Kip Keino Classic disappointment in Atlanta.

Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala will lock horns with a familiar foe in South African Akani Simbine during the 100m at the Atlanta City Games on Saturday.

Omanyala returns to Atlanta where he set a new African record in 150m when he clocked 14.89 seconds, beating the record of 14.99 seconds set by Namibian sprinter Frankie Fredericks in 1993, on his way to finishing third.

The Commonwealth champion will be running the 100m this time and he is up a stellar cast that includes Simbine, whom he has had epic battles with in the past.

The duo came up against each other early in 2023 when Simbine finished second ahead of third-placed Omanyala at the Rabat Diamond League before they met at the World Championships where the Kenyan reached the final, and managed seventh place, while the South African was disqualified from the semi-final.

Omanyala also beat Simbine at the 2022 African Championships but current form slightly favours the South African sprinter who has managed 10.01 on two occasions this year, both recorded in April when he finished first, while Omanyala ran 10.03 at the Kip Keino Classic where he finished a disappointing fifth.

The Kenyan sprinter is, however, keen to right those wrongs but it will not just be about the African duo in Atlanta.

Americans Ronnie Baker, Terrenace Laird, Trey Cunningham and Kendal Williams will also be in the race same as US-born Nigerian Udodi Onwuzurike, the 2021 World U20 200m champion, as well as Jamaican Ryiem Foorde.