Omanyala beats South African Simbine to win ASA Athletics Grandprix

Omanyala clocked 9:98 seconds while Simbine clocked 10:11

Ferdinand OMANYALA of Kenya during the Meeting Mondeville on February 9, 2022 in Mondeville, France. (Photo by Hugo Pfeiffer/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala on Wednesday clocked his season’s best time when he won the ASA Athletics Grandprix 4 at the Germiston Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Omanyala finished the race at a 9:98 time, beating South African Commonwealth Games champion Akani Simbine who finished second at 10:11 which is also his season's best.

Simbine’s South African counterpart Bradley Nkoana finished third in 10:38.

This was the second time the sprinters were clashing having first met at the 2021 Diamond League in Brussels where Omanyala finished fourth and Simbine sixth.

Speaking after the race, Omanyala said he had achieved his target noting it was a good way to start his season. He added that he was not in the competition to race against Simbine but was racing against the finish line.

“My main aim was to run under 10 and I was not competing against him (Simbine) I was running against the finish line. 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,” Omanyala said.

The win for Omanyala comes as he prepares for the Diamond League, the World Championships to be held in Oregon and the Common Wealth games set for Birmingham.

Kenya is also among the countries bidding to host the 2025 World Championships with preparations already in place for evaluation.

Training centres among them Lang'ata, Kirigiti, Kenyatta University, and Jamhuri are ready and are only awaiting inspection.

According to Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei, the inspecting panelists will be looking at the stadium, hotels as well as traffic.

"There are so many things they will look at. They want to see the training areas, the stadium itself, the hotels, Covid-19 protocols as well as the traffic management. It is a good thing we now have the Expressway because these are some of the things they will look at," Tuwei stated.

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