Akani Simbine. (Photo by Anton Geyser/Gallo Images)
Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand “The Beast from the East”
Omanyala defeated South Africa’s two-time Olympic finalist Akani Simbine in the
100m final in Germiston on Wednesday night.
In the highlight of the fourth Grand Prix meet of the season, the African record holder clocked 9.98 seconds to beat Simbine pretty comfortably in the end. Bradley Nkoana finished third in 10.32.
Ferdinand Omanyala. (Tladi Khuele/Athletics South Africa)
The Kenyan set tongues wagging last September when he overhauled Simbine’s continental record, which at the time was 9.84, with a 9.77 time in Nairobi barely two months after the South African did it.
The 26-year-old Kenyan played rugby in high school and trained with the Kenyan Sevens team in their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics last year but decided to go the athletics route – a decision that’s paying off handsomely.
“My main aim was to run under 10 and I was not
competing against him (Simbine); I was running against the finish line,”
said Omanyala, who won in Potchefstroom last week.
“I’ve achieved what I came to achieve in South Africa. It
was a good start to the season and when you run these times at this point in
the season then you’re expecting a good season going forward.”
Earlier, Clarence Munyai (20.33) dominated the field in the men’s 200m, leaving Botswana veteran Isaac Makwala in the dust, who finished fourth (20.89).
17-year-old sprint sensation Viwe Jingqi won the 200m women’s race with a time of 23.10.
Carina Horn, who was banned for two years for doping, won her second 100m race of the Grand Prix series when she blew out the field with a time of 11.43 seconds.
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