When I got off the blokes, I knew it was going to be gold – Kenyan C’wealth 100m winner Omanyala

When I got off the blokes, I knew it was going to be gold – Kenyan C’wealth 100m winner Omanyala


Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya has taken the gold medal in the men’s 100metre final at the Commonwealth Games on Friday night.

Omanyala knew he had bagged the gold 20 metres to the finish line when he broke into a smile and about seven metres to the tape he threw up his arms in air in reverberated back home where President Uhuru Kenyatta hailed the sprinter for the feat that had eluded the East African nation for 60 years.

The medal lifted the gloom that had enveloped the world athletics powerhouse that endured the underwhelming performance of its athletes that have been outshone by neighbours Uganda and Ethiopia.

The eighth-fastest man of all time over the distance clocked 10.02 to win relatively comfortably ahead of continental rival and defending champion Akani Simbine of South Africa.

Sri Lankan sprinter Yupun Abeykoon finished a hundredth of a second behind Simbine to take bronze in a hotly contested finish, with Jeremiah Azu of Wales in fifth with 10.19.

Omanyala recovered brilliantly from setbacks in July, which saw him suffer visa issues before the World Championships. Those problems meant he arrived in Oregon, US, just hours before his 100m heat before being knocked out in the semi-final.

He said: after the race, “I came here with the sole aim of winning the gold and in the final it was a case of controlling the race from the start. Once I got a good start I knew I would win the gold. When I crossed the line I felt like jumping for joy.”

But English star Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake heartbreakingly picked up a seeming hamstring injury during the race. He managed to carry on but finished in last with a time of 11.10 after pulling up, grimacing and grabbing the back of his leg.

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