Nairobi — Will Africa’s fastest man smash his record at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani, once again?
This is one of the pertinent questions that will be answered this Saturday during the fourth edition of the Kip Keino Classic at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.
The African 100m record holder has severally spoken of his desire to set a new record and believes this weekend’s World Athletics Continental Tour Gold event presents him the best chance to do that.
“This year, we want to break records because it is that year in which we want to hit hard. Later on, we are going for the world title so we have to start it (the journey) at home. Come watch it live on the stands…when I promise a show, I always give a show. So, I welcome the rest of the world to come and compete with me and for you (the fans), I want to give you a show,” the Commonwealth Games 100m champion said.
Omanyala is coming off a fruitful past weekend where he produced another record-breaking performance at the Atlanta Adidas City Games, timing a new national record of 14.89 as he finished third in the men’s 150m.
That notwithstanding, Saturday’s race promises to be anything but a walk in the park for Omanyala considering the presence of other elite athletes in the men’s 100m.
Among them is Olympics and world 100m silver medalist Kenneth Bednarek of the United States who will be returning to the event a second time after he clocked 10.15 at last year’s edition when he finished sixth in the same race.
The American, who arrived in the country on Monday morning, said he has overcome his injury struggles of the past year and will be looking forward to competing against Omanyala and Co.
“Last year I was rusty but this time I am healthy so I’ll see what I can do. A win here in Nairobi would mean a lot…right now, I am trying to progress on my block starts. If I can hone in and get in the zone, then that is going to be a plus although I know it is going to be a tough competition,” Bednarek said.
Other sprinters who might muddy the waters for Omanyala include the world 4x100m relay champion Jerome Blake of Canada and the world 100m silver medalist Marvin Bracy of the United States, among others.
At the same time, two-time world javelin champion Anderson Peters will be grappling with familiar foes when he competes in the Kip Keino Classic for the first time.
The 25-year-old says he is looking forward to competing with long-term friend and rival on the field, the 2016 Olympics silver medalist Julius Yego.
The Grenadian is keen to tap into the vociferous home supporters of Yego who will be undoubtedly rallying around one of their own as he takes to the field.
“I’ve been competing with him since 2017 and following his career closely. I know him pretty well…he is a very good competitor and I am looking forward to competing against him once again,” Peters said.
He added: “As it is my first time, I am simply looking forward to competing in front of the home crowd. I really appreciate javelin and I know Yego is a javelin thrower from here so I am looking forward to a supportive crowd for the javelin event.”
Nonetheless, it would be self-injurious for Peters to focus his attentions on his Kenyan buddy, what with the presence of other elite javelin throwers in the field.
Egypt’s Ihab Abdelramah won in last year’s edition, courtesy of an overall throw of 83.79, and will be keen on another win on Kenyan soil.
Other competitors to be wary of include Belgium’s Timothy Herman, South Africa’s Smit Douw, Portugal’s Leandro Ramos and Latvia’s Roland Strobinders, among others.