Kenya’s fastest man Ferdinand Omurwa Omanyala is part of a star-studded Men’s 100M line-up set for the Kip Keino Classic Continental Tour at Moi International Sports Center (MISC) Kasarani. The event, the final stop of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold Series, begins on 18 September, 2021 in Nairobi.
The field also includes current world leader Trayvon Bromell (USA) and two-time 100M world champion Justin Gatlin (USA), making it one of the most anticipated races to take place on Kenyan soil.
100M national record holder Omanyala will be the hometown hero, returning to Nairobi after a series of recent milestones. On September 3rd, he made his Diamond League debut in Brussels, clocking 10.02 seconds to finish fourth behind the all-American trio of Kerley, Bromell and Norman who finished first, second and third respectively.
Omanyala notably outran Africa’s fastest man – South Africa’s Akani Simbine (9.84) in Brussels. Simbine finished sixth. Fresh off reaching the semi-finals at the Tokyo Olympic games and breaking the national record, Omanyala ran a sub-10 time of 9.86 in Austria to break his own record yet again.
Bromell has ran the fastest time this year (9.77) although he had a disappointing Olympic Games in which he failed to make the finals despite being a pre-tournament favorite.
Justin Gatlin’s personal best of 9.74 seconds ranks fifth on the all-time list of male 100-metre athletes. One of the world’s most recognizable sprinters, he is a 5-time Olympic medalist and a 12-time World Championship medalist.
The 100M race will be the marquee event at the Continental Tour event, the second edition of the Kip Keino Classic which comes at the end of the track and field season and brings together top athletes from around the world.
A lot of eyes will also be on the women’s sprints, including the 200M where Namibia’s 18-year old sensation Christine Mboma – Olympic Silver medalist and African record holder – returns to Nairobi where she was crowned World U-20 Champion in August.
World Under-20 3,000m steeplechase champion Amos Serem will also be keen on retaining Kenya’s traditional glory in the race. It will be the 19-year old’s second international event after the World U-20 Championships in Nairobi.