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Sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala speaks on journey to the Olympics

Sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala recently opened up on his journey to becoming the fastest man in Africa.

Speaking in a sit-down interview with media personality Jalang’o, the sprinter disclosed that he was playing rugby before he turned his focus on athletics.

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“My story is funny because when I started sprinting, I used to play rugby in high school and I was called to go to the Kenyans under 20 trials and when I came to Nairobi the trials didn’t happen. I went back home and returned to Nairobi when I joined the University of Nairobi. I joined the rugby team but the players were tough and I decided to leave and joined a lower league,” he said.

It was at the league when he realised he was fast and later joined athletics after being advised to do so by a friend.

He participated and won his debut athletic race.

“At the league is where I realised that I was fast. I met a guy who told me to try athletics, so I downloaded the athletics calendar and saw the first event was in Mumias. I borrowed fare to travel to Mumias and my dad bought me my first running shoes,” he said.

Adding; “I got to the event, competed and I won that event. My first event in athletics I won 100 meters. My next event was in Nakuru but because of finals I didn’t make it to the finals.”

Omanyala also disclosed how he met his coach, noting that they started working together after a casual talk at the University of Nairobi where he was training.

“My coach was a sprinter before and he used to train at the University of Nairobi just for fitness. We approached him and asked if he was in a position to get me a person that would help me and he said because he had some knowledge from his training days, he will help us,” he stated.

The sprinter also discussed his journey to the Olympics.

“When I joined sprinting people said I wouldn’t get far with it. The notion in Kenya is that people can not sprint but it’s not about that, it’s all about mental. It’s about changing the mind set and focusing on what you need to do

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“When this year started, I was breaking records… We go to the trials and I was told, ‘if you’re not going to qualify here, we are not going to take you anywhere and I just asked God to take control’,” he recalled.

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