Mark Otieno reflects on progress after sixth place finish at Kip Keino Classic

Mark Otieno reflects on progress after sixth place finish at Kip Keino Classic

Festus Chuma 09:50 - 21.04.2024

Mark Otieno is on track to beat the Olympic qualifying time after a promising performance at the Kip Keino Classic.

Former national 100m champion Mark Otieno has expressed his optimism and determination after clinching a sixth-place finish at the fifth edition of the Kip Keino Classic held on Saturday at the Nyayo National Stadium. 

The race, won by American sprinter Kenneth Bednarek, saw Otieno achieving a season-best time of 10.22 seconds, marking his fastest run in two years.

The competition began with a false start, heightening the tension among the competitors. 

It was Bednarek who took the lead 30 metres before the finish line, securing victory in 9.91 seconds and ending Ferdinand Omanyala’s consecutive wins at this event. 

Emmanuel Matadi of Liberia and Great Britain’s Jeremiah Azu followed in second and third places with times of 9.99 and 10.00 seconds respectively.

Despite the less than ideal weather conditions, with the race starting under a light rain drizzle, Otieno remained focused and delivered a commendable performance. 

"10.22 seasons best and fastest time I've run in 2 years. I'm excited and confident about what God is doing in my life. Brick by brick," Otieno wrote on his social media after the race.

Otieno recently secured a spot on the Kenyan 4x100m relay team that will compete in the Bahamas, with hopes to qualify for the upcoming Olympics. 

He will join forces with Commonwealth Games 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala, Hesborn Ochieng, Mike Mokamba, Meshack Babu, and Samuel Chege. The team is set to face stiff competition but is hopeful of rising through the ranks.

Otieno's next big challenge is to meet the Olympic qualifying standard of 10.00 seconds or faster before the qualification period ends on June 30, 2024. 

With his current season-best, Otieno is inching closer to his goal of running under 10 seconds a dream he has been chasing since returning from a two-year hiatus from professional racing.

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