Athletics in Kenya is huge and many athletes have dominated the Olympics who have come from Kenya. However, there is a new hero in town for Kenyans to love and admire but not in the area of athletics that many expected.
With Kenyans such as Jemimah Sumgong, Peres Jepchirchir, Samuel Wanjiru and Eliud Kipchoge all dominating the marathon scene in both men’s and women’s events at the past few Olympics, Kenyans are known for running longer distances.
Kenya has not been known for creating sprinters and the shortest distance that Kenyans are known for is the 800m where they have had a podium involvement, in both men’s and women’s events, since Wilson Kiprugut won bronze in 1964 in Tokyo (William Tanui won gold in 1992 at the Barcelona games).
So who is this new sprinter that is capturing the Kenyan’s hearts?
As stated, Kenya is not known for sprinters but the times are changing on that front. Born on 2nd January 1996, the 26-year-old is becoming a big deal in the world of athletics. He started out competing whilst he was a chemistry student in Nairobi after his friend saw his speed whilst playing rugby. You can still see in his physique that he played rugby as the Kenyan take up most of the track with his bulging muscles!
He was quick to take to the sport and ran 10.4s in his first AK meet in Kakamega. In that year he failed to run the Olympic qualifying time despite winning the Kenyan national Olympics trials over the 100m distance in a time of 10.37s.
After a promising start to his track career, Omanyala was banned for doping. He took the drug to help after back surgery but instead got a 14-month ban. This was a huge blow to the youngster who was on a promising track.
On his return though, Omanyala was on a mission of redemption and one goal in his mind; break records. He started with the Kenyan national record, one that had been held by Mark Odhiambo since 2017 running a time of 10.14s. However, after winning the national title in 2019, Omanyala set his eyes on the national record and he did that on 31st March 2021 running a time of 10.01s.
He has since gone on to reduce his time to 9.77s which is an African National Record. When he ran this time at the Kip Keino Classic, he was just 0.01 seconds behind USA sprinter Trayvon Bromwell who has a lot of World Championship experience.
The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this year was a successful time for the Kenyan as he picked up the gold medal in 100m and people took advantage of this by getting the best odds on him at newbettingoffers.co.uk.
There will be a keen interest to see what the 8th fastest man of all time can do for Kenya at the 2024 Olympics held in Paris