Africa’s fastest man Omanyala to miss Worlds over visa delay
Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala told AFP on Thursday he has given up on competing at the World Athletics Championships in the United States because of a delay in getting a visa.
“I have given up my trip to Oregon. Even if I am given a visa today it’s too late,” said the 26-year-old Kenyan sprinter.
Omanyala had been due to compete in the 100m heats on the first day of the world championships on Friday, but lost a race against time to secure his US visa and travel to Oregon — a trip of about 24 hours or more.
“It would mean booking flights which can only be possible at night and the race is on tomorrow. It’s not possible,” he said.
“There’s nothing I can do. It’s been my longest day of waiting and I don’t like waiting.”
Omanyala is the third-quickest man in the world this season behind Americans Fred Kerley and Trayvon Bromell, setting a time of 9:85 in May.
In September last year, he clinched the African record of 9:77, making him the ninth-fastest man ever, behind four Americans and three Jamaicans.
“I have accepted the situation and will now focus on the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham,” said Omanlaya.
The Commonwealth Games open in the English city on July 28 and run until August 8.
© Agence France-Presse
Kenya’s sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala runs during a training session at the Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on June 30, 2022. In six years of dazzling rise, he has made a place for himself in a country where long-distance runners are kings: Ferdinand Omanyala intends to continue popularising the sprint in Kenya by shining in the 100m at the 2022 World Athletics Championships which start on July 15, 2022. (Photo by Tony KARUMBA / AFP)