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Omanyala aims for sub-10 in face-off against Simbine

Kenyan star praises ASA for well organised series

Athenkosi Tsotsi Sports Reporter
Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya and Israel Olatunde of Ireland IRE compete during the Men's 60 Metres Heats on Day Two of the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade.
Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya and Israel Olatunde of Ireland IRE compete during the Men's 60 Metres Heats on Day Two of the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade.
Image: Maja Hitij/Getty Images for World Athletics

The fourth leg of the Athletics South Africa (ASA) Grand Prix tonight at the Germiston Athletics Stadium will pit the fastest man in Africa Ferdinand Omanyala against the fastest man in SA Akani Simbine in the 100m race. 

Omanyala, from Kenya, is looking to take the momentum from the third leg of the Grand Prix where he won the 100m in 10.11 seconds at the NWU McArthur Athletics Stadium in Potchefstroom.

The African record (9.77sec) holder was not only happy with his performance but overly pleased with the manner in which the Grand Prix in Potch was organised by ASA. 

“The Grand Prix was well organised and I wished the Potch leg took place during the day because it then became cold at night. I love the organisation and am happy that it was also live on television. Other African countries can learn a lot from SA.

“They are giving athletes that cannot get out of the country and continent an opportunity to compete. African athletes lack competition, but in SA, it is a different story. The organisation is top class,” said Omanyala, who was speaking to the ASA media team. 

With the duel between Omanyala and Simbine is the talk of the town, the East African sprinter is not paying too much attention to the battle and is instead focusing on improving his own time. 

“I’m not focusing too much on Akani, but I want to race against the clock and run a faster time. We have to push each other to run a fast time. I am going head-to-head against the former African record holder. I am excited and want to put on a great show for the supporters. My goal is to run 9.96 or 9.95, depending on the weather on the day,” said Omanyala.

Meanwhile, Simbine wants to use the ASA Grand Prix as a springboard for the season. The sprinter from Kempton Park is planning on pacing himself in the domestic scene and then going all out in the major international competitions. 

“This year coach and I decided it’s going to be a championship year, it’s not going to be focused on one-off races, it’s making sure when it’s time for a championship I am at my best, to be ready for the African Champs, World Champs and Commonwealth games. 

“There are two titles I need to reclaim, which are my African and Commonwealth titles; and then go to the World Champs and do my best,” Simbine said. 

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