Ferdinand Omanyala and Mark Otieno have qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.  The duo who were taking part in the ongoing Team Kenya Olympic Trials at the Kasarani Stadium clocked 10.02 and 10.05 seconds respectively in the 100m trials finals. This also saw sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala set a new national record for the 100 metres race.

Omanyala has endured a tumultuous time having run-ins with Athletics Kenya(AK) after he was given a 14- month ban in 2017. He had been found guilty of using a prohibited substance by the Kenya Anti-doping Agency (ADAK). The 25-year-old University of Nairobi student had previously hinted at applying to compete as an independent athlete at the Tokyo Olympics if Athletics Kenya(AK) had denied him a spot in their team. However, after a series of meetings between AK, National Olympics Committee of Kenya(Nock) and Omanyala’s representatives, the deadlock was broken and it was agreed that Omanyala would be included in the team if he qualified at the national trials.

Speaking after the race, Omanyala expressed his excitement for making it to the Tokyo Olympics and promised to fly the Kenyan flag high. “False starts made it happen. Though I was planning for a sub-10 but that will come later. I trained the whole Covid-19 break without competition and it has finally paid off”. Remarked Ferdinand Omanyala after the race.

AK is conducting three-day national trials that will end on Saturday 19th June to select a team that will represent the country in both track and field events at the 2020 Summer Tokyo Olympics set to kick off on Friday, 23rd July 2021.

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