Ferdinand Omanyala, the fastest man in Africa, thinks he will bounce back after placing seventh in Sunday’s 100-meter final in Budapest.
Speaking publicly for the first time following his failure to secure a podium spot at the international tournament, Omanyala sent five words to his more than 96,000 followers on X.com (previously Twitter) that read, “Live to fight another day!” and received a lot of encouragement from his supporters.
After winning the Kip Keino Classic on May 13 at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi with a time of 9.84, he arrived in Budapest bragging that he was the second fastest man of the year, behind only the British athlete Zharnel Hughes.
When he failed to receive an automatic final ticket after timing 10.01 in the semi-finals on August 20 at 5:35 p.m. Kenyan time, things appeared hopeless for him.
But before settling for second place in the final, he managed to overcome one of the two quickest losers, American Fred Kerley, the 2022 winner.
In the suspenseful final, Omanyala got off to a sluggish start, making it futile for him to chase the pace. He finished in 10.07 seconds at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest on Sunday.
Still, Omanyala, the record-holding and Africa 100-meter champion, created history by being the first Kenyan to qualify for the men’s 100-meter final at the world championships.
World 200-meter champion Noah Lyle of the United States won the event with a time that set a new national mark of 9.88, besting world under-20 100-meter champion and record-holder Letsile Tebogo of Botswana in second place.
Tebogo became the first African to win a medal at the World Athletics Championships thanks to his remarkable achievement.
Zharnel Hughes, a Briton, unexpectedly won bronze in 9.88 while Christian Coleman, the American winner of the 2019 global 100-meter championship, finished fifth in 9.92.