Africa’s fastest man was his disqualified for the technical error after managing his first sub-10 of the season
Ferdinand Omanyala’s weekend turned from good to bad after his victory at the Botswana Golden Grand Prix was scrapped for line infringement.
It was a disappointing evening for Omanyala, who had run a world lead 9.78 at the National Stadium in Gaborone on Saturday, his first sub-10 of the season, having missed his African record by just 0.01 seconds.
Having started in lane four, Omanyala, who got off the blocks first, stepped on lane five on his right while trying to glance at home favourite Letsile Tebogo, who finished second in 9.91, thus landing himself in trouble.
While he enjoyed his victory and the world applauding him, his celebrations would be cut short later, when it was discovered that he made the technical error.
Africa’s fastest man was not on the podium when winners were being awarded, raising eyebrows and while his camp insisted that he was warming up for the 4x100m race where he anchored Kenya to victory, it later emerged that his win in the 100m had been quashed with Tebogo elevated to first, American Kenny Bednarek (10.02) to second with Canadian Brown Aaron (10.06) completing the podium.
World Athletics’ Technical Rule 17.3.1 (163.3(a)) on lane infringement states; "This rule applies to athletes running on the bend in a laned race. If an athlete steps on the lane line on their left or runs into the lane on their inside they will be disqualified for shortening the distance of the race.
“If an athlete runs into the inside lane or touches the lane line in the straight, no report will be made unless they obstruct another athlete as they have not affected the distance to be covered in the race.
"Running into the lane on an athlete’s right (outer lane) should not be penalised unless there is interference with the athlete running in that lane."
The incident means Omanyala will still wait a little longer to run his desired sub-10 this season, having clocked 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.
Nairobi, therefore, could be the scene for him to achieve the mark, and possibly lower his African record, when the Continental Tour moves to Kasarani Stadium for the Kip Keino Classic on May 13.