Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala landed in Gaborone yesterday in style for the much anticipated 100m battle at the inaugural Botswana Golden Grand Prix that will be held on Saturday (29) in Gaborone, Botswana.
The reigning commonwealth Games 100m champion comes to this race with the fastest time on paper of 9.77 that he got two years ago at the first edition of the KipKeino Classic.
The 26 year-old started the season off in great form winning the 60m at the World Indoor Tour Gold in Liévin in 6.54 beating Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs and clocked a seasonal best of 10.05 in Johannesburg last week.
World 100m silver medallist Marvin Bracy will be the real threat to the Kenyan sensation as they will be meeting for the third in Africa though the Kenyan has an upper hand as he has beaten him twice. Bracy who is a former American Football player improved his 100m personal best to 9.85 when he finished second at the US Championships in Eugene last year. The 29 year-old finished in the top two in fifteen of his sixteen races last year.
Omanyala will also face the World and Olympic 200m silver medallist Kenny Bednarek who will step down from his usual distance to run the 100m. The 24 year-old comes to this race with the third fastest time on paper of 9.89 that he got last year in Eugene.
Another title contender is Canada’s world 4×100 champion Aaron Brown, who will be running his second 100m race of the season three weeks after clocking a wind-assisted 9.97 in Miramar. Brown reached the 100m final at the World Championships in Eugene placing eighth in 10.07. The Canadian sprinter holds a life time best of 9.96 that he got in Montverde in 2016.
Botswana will put their hopes in the world U20 and Botswana National Record Holder in the 100m Letsile Tebogo, who improved his personal best to 9.94 at the World Championships in Eugene. One month later Tebogo broke the world under 20 record in the 100m when he clocked 9.91 at the World Championships in Cali.
Liberia will be represented by their National 100m record holder, Emmanuel Matadi, who comes to this race with a life time best of 9.98.
Benjamin Richardson from South Africa, will also be on the start line as he fights for the top honrs. He is a triple world under 20 medallist (silver in the 100m in Cali 2022, bronze in the 100m and gold in the 4×100 relay in Nairobi 2021).