Omanyala hits out at critics after third place finish in Rabat

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ATHLETICS Omanyala hits out at critics after third place finish in Rabat

Joel Omotto 11:00 - 29.05.2023

Africa’s fastest man lost his first 100m race of the season but he remains unfazed as he eyes revenge in Florence Dimond League

Ferdinand Omanyala has aimed a thinly veiled attack at his critics following his third-place finish at the Rabat Diamond League on Sunday.

Omanyala suffered his first loss of the season in the 100m when he finished third in a star-studded race, behind American and world champion Fred Kerley, who emerged victorious, while South African Akani Simbine was second.

Omanyala recorded a slow time of 10.05 with Kerley winning in 9.94 as Simbine timed 9.99.

Africa’s fastest man went into the race high on confidence, having claimed that he would ‘not lose’ any 100m race this season during his pre-race press conference and has come out to shrug off criticism while assuring his supporters of a better performance in his next event.

“Confidence looks like arrogance to people who don't believe in themselves,” Omanyala said via a Twitter post on Monday. “We shall rise again. Thank you, Rabat, for the memories, see you (in) Florence.”

Omanyala was a bit slow off the blocks with his poor start contributing to the third-place finish but he can draw solace from the fact that he has a better season’s best of 9.84 compared to Kerley’s 9.88.

The Commonwealth champion has had a good start to the season, winning the Kip Keino Classic in a world lead 9.84 ahead of Americans Kenneth Bednarek (9.98) and Marvin Bracy-Williams (10.03) this month, the win coming after he had clocked a wind-assisted 9.87 at the Botswana Golden Grand Prix in April.

He timed 10.05 in Germiston on April 19, seven seconds faster than his 10.12 in Pretoria a week earlier, during the season-opening ASA Athletics Grand Prix II in South Africa.

Omanyala has an opportunity to right the wrongs in Florence, Italy on June 2, when he will come up against Kerley again as well as Olympic champion and home favourite Marcell Jacobs.

The star-studded headline event will also feature reigning Diamond League champion Trayvon Bromell and fellow Americans Erriyon Knighton as well as Bednarek.