By Judith Gicobi
Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala has received a last-minute visa that will allow him to go to Oregon, USA, for the World Athletics Championships which are barely 24 hours away.
On Thursday afternoon, the 100-meter world record holder and African champion shared on Instagram confirmation of the information.
“Firstly, I would like to thank God, President of Kenya HE Uhuru Kenyatta and GOK through MOSCA, CS Amb Amina Mohammed have been at the forefront in ensuring I get my visa. Thank you to the US Embassy in Kenya for granting me my visa.”
“I will also be competing in the commonwealth games in Birmingham July 28th. Looking forward to making all Kenyans proud,” he added.
Earlier on Omanyala had expressed his displeasure to local dailies about the stalled visa.
The 26-year-old is the eighth fastest man in 100 meter history with a personal best of 9.77.
Kenya has sent 46 athletes to the 2022 World Athletics Championships, and 157 competitors will compete for Kenya in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The Ministry of Sports has additionally verified that all of Team Kenya’s athletes have obtained their visas.
“We are very pleased to secure both USA and UK visas for all our athletes including our sensational athlete @Ferdiomanyala. Our athletes are now set for both the world championships and commonwealth games,” they said in a tweet.
As he flagged off the games on Tuesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta praised the athletes for bringing respect and pride to Kenya.
Omanyala hopes to win Kenya’s first-ever medal at the 100-meter race at the World Championship, even though Kenyan competitors are predicted to dominate the middle distance events. The Championships, a nine-day competition, will be held in Eugene, Oregon, from July 15–24.