Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala made history at the Diamond League on Friday, becoming the first Kenyan sprinter to secure victory in a 100 meters race.
After finishing second in Florence and Paris, Omanyala finally had his moment in the spotlight, delivering a breathtaking performance to outpace Botswana’s World Under-20 champion, Letsile Tebogo, in a thrilling finish.
The reigning Africa 100m champion, Omanyala, clocked an impressive 9.92 seconds, narrowly beating Tebogo, the world junior 100m record holder, who finished in a season-best time of 9.93 seconds. Jamaicans Ackeem Blake and former Olympic 100m champion Yohan Blake followed in third and fourth places with times of 10.00 and 10.01, respectively. Notably, Silesia Diamond League winner Akani Simbine from South Africa withdrew from the race at the last minute.
Ferdinand Omanyala’s victory marks him as only the second Kenyan sprinter to have claimed a Diamond League title, with the late Nicholas Bett being the first, achieving the feat in the 400m hurdles event during the 2016 Paris edition.
In another noteworthy performance, Simon Koech, the national and Kenya Defence Forces champion, made a remarkable entrance into the world of steeplechase in the Diamond League.
The 20-year-old Koech, who had already triumphed in the national trials for the Budapest World Championships, demonstrated his dominance by winning the 3,000m steeplechase race on his debut.
Koech’s exceptional showing saw him finish in a personal best time of eight minutes and 04.19 seconds, leaving behind the Commonwealth Games champion Abraham Kibiwott, who secured the second position with a time of 8:09.54.
Ethiopian athlete Abrham Sime also delivered a commendable performance, timing a personal best of 8:10.56 to secure third place in the event.