His hard work and unwavering spirit are what propelled him from 10.38 seconds to a sub-10 athlete.
Commonwealth Games 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala is living proof that Kenya can produce a sprinter who is capable of threatening the American hegemony.
Omanyala started out his sprinting career in 2016 and at that time, he was not a household name. He started by running very slow times of 10.90 and his personal best that year was 10.38, something that was to be marveled about in Kenya because generally, Africa was not known to produce sprinters.
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His hard work and unwavering spirit are what propelled him from 10.38 seconds to a sub-10 athlete. Omanyala is now the talk of town and running nine seconds is not a surprise to anyone since he has made it a norm. In fact, when he runs above nine seconds, people start wondering why.
The 27-year-old does not want to be in the limelight alone as he wants to make Kenya a sprinting nation. He wants more sprinters to join him and place the country on the world map.
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In a post on his Twitter handle, he disclosed that he wants upcoming sprinters to believe in themselves since self-doubt is one of their greatest enemies.
He said: “I am changing the whole perspective about sprinting in Kenya. That was the goal and is still one of the goals. Nothing is ever meant for a specific person or country. It's all in the mind. Break that mind ceiling.”
Omanyala added that he wants to leave a legacy and ensure that sprints in Kenya just keep growing. However, his journey has not been easy since he has been forced to constantly sacrifice in order to get to the level he is at the moment.
"I am looking at what I'm going to leave behind when I hang my spikes...I want to change the narrative that Kenyans can't sprint. Sprinting success comes gradually...it's all about being consistent and embracing hard work. You need to be disciplined.
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"I don't remember missing any training sessions...you have to achieve that muscle memory and maturity for your breakthrough," he added.
Coming from him, fledgling sprinters should definitely follow Omanyala's lead since he has proven that anything is possible. He is now the African record holder and this year, he has been to a couple of international events where he was the sole Kenyan representative in the 100m.
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He opened his international campaign with two races in South Africa where he reigned supreme in both before putting up a show at the Botswana Golden Grand Prix. He then jetted into the country for the Kip Keino Classic where he dazzled on home soil.
Omanyala tasted his first 100m loss of the season at the Diamond League Meeting in Rabat, Morocco where he finished third behind World Champion Fred Kerley and Akani Simbine. He then went to the Meeting in Florence, Italy, and Paris, France, where he managed both second-place finishes.
As he gears up for the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Omanyala wants to write history by becoming the first African to win a gold medal at the global showpiece.
His consistency has shown that anything is possible and he will definitely bring back home something great when he comes from Budapest in August.