Kenyan Omayala makes sprint history

Kenyan Ferdinand Omayala signed a resounding feat by setting a new African record in the 100m in 9''77 at the Kip Keino Classic meeting in Nairobi on Saturday, September 18, 2021. This performance propels the Kenyan sprinter into the Top 10 all time. Omayala, second in the race behind American Trayvon Bomell, wiped South African Akani Simbine from the African shelves (9’84 last July).


Three winners from the World U20 Championships that were held at the same venue last month emerged victorious again here as they ran against some of the world’s best senior athletes.

It took almost 20 minutes, and two false starts in between, for one of the most anticipated events of the programme to finally start; the women’s 200m between Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast and Namibia’s Christine Mboma, the Olympic silver medallist and world U20 champion.

Ta Lou held a slight lead in the first half of the race, but Mboma came strongly on the home straight to win in 22.39 (0.2m/s). Ta Lou was second in 22.98 while Aminatou Seyni of Niger took third place in 23.33.

Before Mboma, another world U20 champion – Kenya’s Vincent Keter – had defeated a quality field to win the men’s 1500m in 3:35.99. Abdelatif Sadiki of Morocco came second in 3:36.63 followed by Adihena Kasaye of Ethiopia in 3:38.18.

Noah Kibet had earned the bronze medal at the World U20 Championships, but he surprised a high-quality senior 800m field with a bold move on the last lap that his competitors could not match. He won the race in 1:44.97 ahead of Collins Kipruto (1:45.68) and Cornelius Tuwei (1:45.90). Olympic silver medallist Ferguson Rotich was fourth.

From the celebrations Soufiane El Bakkali produced after winning the men’s steeplechase, it became clear that he really wanted the win as much as the Kenyan runners wanted to beat him on their home soil.

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