"The mental strength that I had was what pushed me to compete," revealed national 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala Omurwa as he was preparing to take part in the men's 100m Round 1 heats at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Omanyala reveals how he overcame performance anxiety before Olympic debut
"There's no turning back now," said Omanyala.
Omanyala who was speaking to NTV journalist Victor Kiprop on the show, Your World said that the presence of global superstars intimidates him. "I saw the likes of Andre de Grasse and Fred Kerley in the lineup and got a bit intimidated."
Omanyala’s fairytale run at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics came to end at the semi finals when he finished third in his heat, after clocking an impressive 10.00 seconds.
The sprinter could have qualified as one of the best losers but Heat 3 produced some mind-blowing contests with all the top four clocking under 10 seconds, locking the University of Nairobi student out.
It is worth noting that Omanyala broke the national record thrice in less than a month, equaling the previous record first, then going ahead to smash this record thrice.
The former rugby player became the first Kenyan to run the 100m in less than 10 seconds in an Athletes' Meet in Austria, running 9.96 seconds in the semi-final, and an astonishing 9.86 seconds in the final.
Kenyans ready to impress on Kip Keino classic
Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon leads home-grown talent that will light up Kasarani Stadium at the second edition of Kip Keino classic, the World Athletics Continual Tour series set for tomorrow, Saturday, September 18.
Newly crowned world U20 champion Amos Serem and Diamond League winner Benjamin Kigen will be there to try and make sure that a Kenyan wins the event that has always been the nation’s pride in major track and field meetings across the world.
Kenya's hopes on dominating the women's 3000m steeplechase will fall on Olympic bronze medalist Hyvin Kiyeng, Celliphine Chespol, Purity Kirui and Rosefline Chepngetich.
Agnes Tirop, who recently took 28 seconds off the long-standing women-only world record for 10km with 30:01 in Herzogenaurach, Germany is expected to feature with Margaret Kipkemboi and Lilian Kasait in the 5000m.
Mary Moraa and world champion Halimah Nakaayi will be in the women's 800m, while the men's event features Olympic silver medallist Ferguson Rotich, Cornelius Tuwei and Collins Kipruto.
In the men's 1500m are world U20 champion Vincent Keter and Olympic fourth-place finisher Abel Kipsang, while Edward Zakayo, Nicholas Kimeli and Jacob Krop go in the 5000m.
A total of 265 athletes both local and international will compete at the Absa Kip Keino Classic, the final leg of the 2021 World Athletics Continental Gold Tour on Saturday.
From the pack, 185 will participate in core and discretionary races, with 80 battling it out in the national category.
Big names arrive for Kip Keino classic
The event is expected to grab world headlines because in comes as the last event of athletics after the conclusion of the 2021 Diamond League that culminated with the Zurich leg.
The one-day event will assemble one of the best ever men’s 100m fields ever put together on African soil with 2017 world champion Justin Gatlin of the USA and his compatriot Trayvon Brommel who at 9.77 seconds is the seventh fastest man in the world.
Other superstars include; Marie-Josee Ta Lou (Ivory Coast), Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Peruth Chemutai (Uganda), Commonwealth Games 400m champion Isaac Makwala (Botswana), Olympic hammer throw champion Wojciech Nowicki (Poland), Olympic steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali (Morocco) and Olympic 200m silver medallist Christine Mboma (Namibia).