BIRMINGHAM22

HISTORY! Ferdinand Omanyala is a Commonwealth champion

Omanyala crossed the finish line 10.02 seconds

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: Ferdinand Omanyala of Team Kenya celebrates after winning the Gold medal in the Men's 100m Final on day six of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium on August 03, 2022 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

For 60 years, Kenyans have not seen one of their own win a gold in the 100m at the Commonwealth Games. However, Ferdinand Omanyala on Wednesday etched himself into the history books by finishing ahead of South African Akani Simbine and Yupun Abeykoon from Sri-Lanka.

Omanyala's win means this is the first time since 1962 when Seraphino Antao in Perth, Western Australia marked the highest point of his career, when he won 100 and 220 yards gold medals.

Africa's fastest man was on a mission to revitalise himself after his poor performance at the recently held World Athletics Championships.

Due to failure to secure an American visa on time, Omanyala arrived late and fatigued in Eugene, Oregon which saw him get knocked out of the Championships following a fifth-place finish in the semi-finals.

This time round, there were no visa delays or other travel emergencies. Omanyala was in fine form and it showed in both heats and semi-finals, where he dominated comfortably.

Omanyala reached the final after winning his semifinal in a time of 10.02 seconds. However, his compatriot Samuel Imeta missed out on a place in the final after finishing fifth in a time of 10.24 seconds.

On the night, as the floodlights lit the Alexander Stadium and the fans cheered their tongues out, Omanyala lined up ready to make his country proud.

From the gun to the tape, Omanyala was cruising, setting up a comfortable finish for the Kenyan record holder. He finished in 10.02, while his rivals Simbine and Abeykoon battled for silver with the former winning in 10.13 ahead of the latter in 10.14.

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