Omanyala promises new Africa 100m mark Kip Keino Classic

Omanyala promises new Africa 100m mark Kip Keino Classic

The men’s 100m field has attracted top names including USA’s World Championships silver medallist Marvin Bracy.

After exciting the crowd with a season’s fastest 9.85 seconds win at last year’s Absa Kip Keino Classic 100 metres title, Ferdinand Omanyala, Africa’s fastest man, has vowed to lower the African record again at this year’s meeting in Nairobi.

The 2023 Absa Kip Keino Classic will be held on May 13 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, with the men’s 100m field attracting top names including USA’s World Championships silver medallist Marvin Bracy.

Omanyala’s latest 100m triumph came on Wednesday night when he powered to victory at the Athletics South Africa (ASA) Grand Prix 1 at Tuks Athletics Stadium in Pretoria with a time of 10.12 seconds after a strong second half, running into a -1.2 metres-per-second headwind.

He finished well ahead of second-placed South African teenager Benjamin Richardson (10.33 seconds).

Kenya’s “Beast from the East” is scheduled to run at the Athletics South Africa (ASA) Grand Prix 2 in Johannesburg on April 19 before featuring in the Gaborone Continental Tour meeting in Botswana on April 29.

He will then travel to the Adidas Boost Games on May 6 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, before travelling back home for the Absa Kip Keino Classic.

“This season will be a great one,” Omanyala, 27, said on Thursday.

“The African record will be broken at the Absa Kip Keino Classic… I’m hoping that Kenyans will fill up the stadium to witness this great feat in our country’s history,” Omanyala, also the Commonwealth champion over the 100 metres distance, said.

“The Beast from the East” – who has had an impressive indoor season this year – holds the African record at 9.77 seconds which he set at the 2021 Absa Kip Keino Classic, finishing second to American star Trayvon Bromell (9.76 seconds).

Last year, Omanyala floored, among others, United States Olympic silver medallist Fred Kerley (9.92 seconds) to retain his Absa Kip Keino Classic title in 9.85 seconds.

Apart from Bracy, other stars on this year’s Absa Kip Keino Classic 100 metres field on May 13 are fellow American Elijah Hall, the US indoor 200m record holder, and Kenny Bednarek who is the World and Olympic 200 metres silver medalist.

The field also has Jerome Blake, a member of Canada’s Eugene World Championships’ 4×100 metres relay gold medal-winning quartet, who could be the dark horse.

Absa Kip Keino Classic Meet Director Barnabas Korir is excited at the men’s 100 metres field, remaining confident of fast times at Kasarani.