Omanyala reveals inspiration behind opening a sprints academy of excellence in Kitale

ATHLETICS Omanyala reveals inspiration behind opening a sprints academy of excellence in Kitale

Mark Kinyanjui 18:30 - 19.10.2023

Omanyala has revealed the inspiration behind his decision to launch an athletics academy at St.Joseph’s National School, Kitale on Monday.

Ferdinand Omanyala has motivated upcoming sprinters as he launched an athletics academy at St. Joseph’s Boys High School in Kitale on Monday.

Omanyala, the reigning world number nine, has revealed that many sprinters from Kenya can be identified if they are nurtured properly, as he intends to use his stature to motivate young athletes who want to be sprint sensations in future.

“Previously, we just never had anyone to look up to, but now, they have someone to look up to, so that is a big step towards everything,” Omanyala told Citizen TV.

“It’s all in the mind, for a kid like this, if he is nurtured well and given the perfect (conditions, he will do well).

Omanyala has challenged upcoming sprint athletes to stop using a lack of ‘top notch facilities’ as an excuse, and appreciate Kenya for what it is.

“Not facilities. The facilities are there, I always say, use what you have to get what you want. If I had put myself in a situation where I say that we have nothing in Kenya, I would not be where I am now.

“For them, its just to use what we have used to get where we are. The most important thing is that they do not give up.”

“We are starting a school for sprints next year and I am pleased to announce that St. Joseph's will be the first benefactor of this program as we aim to help the youth horn their talents in athletics.”

Omanyala came into the limelight in 2015 when he won 100m in a time of 10.37 secs during the national Olympics trials but failed to attain the qualifying standard, which was 10.16 secs at the time.

He would later on go to win the national title in 2019 and later on in March 30 2021, he set a national record of 10.01 seconds in the 100m after winning a meeting at Yabatech Sport Complex in Lagos, Nigeria.

In 2022, he won his first international championships, with victories in the 100m at the Commonwealth Games, and African Athletics Championships.

Omanyala is the African record holder and the ninth-fastest man of all time in the event after clocking a time of 9.77 seconds on September 18, 2021 in Nairobi. He is also the first Kenyan to reach the semi-finals of the 100m at the Olympics stage. 

The sprinter took part at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest,  Hungary, last August finishing seventh in the final in a time of 10.07 seconds.