Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala has shattered the Championship Record to hand Kenya its first Africa 100 metres title in 32 years.
Omanyala rallied from behind to win in 9.93 seconds, beating defending champion Akani Simbine from South Africa in a photo-finish in the ongoing Africa Senior Athletics Championships taking place at Cote d’Or National Sports Complex, Reduit, Mauritius.
Another South African Henricho Bruintjies claimed bronze in 10.01.
Omanyala’s feat saw him break Nigeria’s Seun Ogunkoya Championships Record of 9.94 set in 1998 Dakar, Senegal.
However, Namibian legend Frankie Fredrick’s ran wind assisted 9.93 when winning in 2002 in Rades, Tunisia does not count as a record.
Omanyala becomes the only other Kenyan to win the Africa 100m title after legendary Joseph Gikonyo, who claimed both the 100m and 200m crowns at the 1990 Cairo Championships.
Omanyala now aims to emulate Gikonyo’s feat with a double when he lines up in 200m on Saturday.
Omanyala’s victory came right after the 2018 Continental Cup 1,500m Winny Chebet retained her 1,500m title, leading World Under-20 1,500m champion Purity Chepkirui to a 1-2 feat.
Chebet stuck to the lead from 300m clocking 4:16.10 to triumph as Chepkirui claimed silver in 4:16.28. Ethiopia’s Ayal Dagnachew settled for bronze in 4:16.45, denying Kenya a podium sweep as Branda Chebet took fourth place in 4:17.25.
Kenya had the previous day claimed bronze in men’s 10,000m through Abraham Longosiwa.
National 100m champion and record holder Maximila Imali powered to fifth place in 11.29 in a tight women’s 100m final.
The 2019 African Games 100m silver medallist Gina Bass from Gambia won the race in 11.06, beating Seyni Aminatou from Niger to second place in 11.09 as Carina Horn from South Africa clocked 11.08 for bronze.