Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omurwa Omanyala has revealed the man behind his recent success. The National Record holder, took the title of the eight fastest man in the world in 100m after thrashing Akani Simbine’s African record at the 2nd edition of the Kip Keino Classic in that was held in September this year.
Omanyala has decided to reveal the details of his top-rated foreign manager, who also doubles up as his coach. Through his social media page, Omanyala stated that Marcel Viljoen is the man who has been pushing him to the limits.
“Despite the numerous challenges, we have truly enjoyed some incredible highlights this year. From an intense training camp in South Africa, to the Athletics Kenya Olympic trials, to the Tokyo milestones European breakthroughs, and finally, the big finish on home soil, giving me the title of the fastest man in Africa!” he praised his manager.
Marcel is an accredited Athlete Representative by World Athletics (WA) and is the founder of Fitness From Africa which is based in South Africa and has over 25 years of coaching experience.
Apart from managing Omanyala, he has two more athletes under his label such as Jacent Nyamahunge from Uganda and Galaletsang Ramorwa of Russia.
Before Omanyala picked Marcel, he was under Coach Duncan Ayiemba before he was sanctioned with a 14-month ban by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK).
#Flashback to the past season with my World Athletics accredited manager Marcel Viljoen(FFA). Despite the numerous challenges, we have truly enjoyed some incredible highlights this year. From an intense training camp in SA, to the AK Olympic trials, to the Tokyo milestones pic.twitter.com/rUwwBTpEuD
manyala’s decision to introduce his coach comes just days after his sponsor pull out. Sports management company, DBA Africa, decided to terminate the contract with the athlete owing to different value sets represented by each faction.
“We are proud to have played a huge role in enabling him to compete around the continent resulting in attaining four qualifying times for the Tokyo Olympic Games and achieving many national records and personal best,” read part of the statement.
Two days later SNOLegal Sports & Entertainment Law announced their withdrawal of legal and advisory services offered to Omanyala.
Despite the double loss, Omanyala has maintained his silence on his next move.
Ferdinand Omanyala became the eight fastest man in history fo 100m race when he thrashed Akani Simbine African record at the 2nd edition of the Kip Keino Classic, a leg of the World Athletics Continental Gold Tour that was held at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on 18 September 2021.
Omanyala was beaten by a hundredth of a second by United States Trayvon Bromell who also ran the fastest time in 2021 of 9:76 that put him in history books as the sixth fastest track sprinter over the distance.
The fine end to the season comes after both Bromell and Omanyala missed out on the men’s Olympic 100m final. The American was the hot favourite for individual gold going into Tokyo 2020 with the fastest time on paper of 9.77 secs.
When the curtains fell at the Asasba 2018 event, Kenya had proved her dominance in athletics the Africa power house edging out defending champion, South Africa and host Nigeria to win the 21st edition of the African Senior Athletics Championships rounded that was held at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Niger Delta.
The East Africans, who hosted and won the 19th edition in 2014, beat defending champions, South Africa and host, Nigeria, to the second and third positions respectively.
The Kenyans swept six gold medals yesterday to bring their total medals to 19, made up of 11 gold, six silver and two bronze medals.
The 22,000-capacity Stephen Keshi Stadium was always filled throughout the duration of the competition. There seems to be more tricycle operators in the city than cars.
However, the Asaba 2018 championship was not all a smooth sail in the area of facilities, as many athletes said the CAA-approved tracks was bumpy and could cause serious injuries to them.
Some of them preferred to run slower times to avoid injury, including the women’s 100m, which was won in 11.15 seconds by Cote d’Ivoire’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou, who had ran faster times this year.
The Ivorian said after winning the race that the track needs to be worked on for a smoother finish. “The surface appears good but when you run on it, you notice that it is bumpy and not smooth. There can be no fast times in this competition.”
South Africa’s speed star, Akani Simbine, who won the men’s 100m in 10.25 seconds, said: “I came with the aim to run a sub-9 seconds in Asaba, but that is really not achievable on this tracks. I have to be careful to avoid serious injuries.”
On his part, Nigeria national men’s 100m champion, Adeseye Ogunlewe, who finished fifth in the final of the event, lamented that he stumbled in each of his races.
“This tartan track is bad. You are running fast and all of a sudden you bump into a bad portion and stumble. I almost fell in each of the races. I ran in lane 5 and 6 and each of them was not good.”
Apart from the tracks, the toilets, which served both the athletes and journalists who covered the championship was an eye sore. The sanitary facilities at the stadium could not be effectively used, as there was no water supply to the toilets. To save the situation, the organisers had to detail over 10 sanitary workers to fetch water from a tank outside the main-bowl to cater for the athletes’ needs.
The television set provided inside the media center did not function throughout the duration of the championship. Until the end of the championship on Sunday, the facility imported to provide floodlight for the event were still lying on the ground, thereby forcing CAA officials to re-adjust the programme of event. The scoreboard till now is yet to be fixed.
Another setback recorded at the championship was accreditation of athletes and officials. Even journalists also found it difficult to get accredited and many were denied access to be part of the opening ceremony at the stadium.
At the Patrick Okpomo Football House in Asaba, venue of the accreditation exercise, many athletes, who arrived on Wednesday, were told to return to their hotels to await their accreditation. Many frowned at the facilities used in capturing their photographs because of poor outcome of the accreditation.
Though, the chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the competition, Chief Solomon Ogba, later apologised for the shortcomings that were experienced at this championships.
While athletics events were ongoing on inside the mainbowl of the stadium on Day 2 of the championship, a newly installed water tank at the swimming pool side of the complex crashed, destroying parts of the stadium fence. The tank tore the bonnet of a Sports Utility Vehicle while parts of the tank fell on another car. It was as a result of poor job by the contractor, as substandard equipment was allegedly used to erect the iron stands. It did not happen inside the mainbowl of the stadium, so the competitions were not disrupted.
The LOC tried in the area of security, protocol, medical, transportation and accommodation.
After the initial hiccup in moving athletes and their officials to Asaba, the state government moved in by providing a chartered flight. As at yesterday morning, the virtually all the visiting athletes and their officials had been evacuated from the city.
To avoid a repeat of such organisational setbacks witnessed in Asaba, the IAAF President, Sebastian Coe, has promised to assist the sport in Africa. “I am not just here for the ceremony, I brought a big team with me from our headquarters to understand the challenges countries face in delivering athletics events like this even at the regional level.
“My team is also here to observe to see how they can be more helpful in the delivering more opportunities. Africa has a great potential and we have to work together with the officials on the continent to understand how the IAAF can help to develop the sport. This is a great event and although there are some challenges, the athletes have been doing well and that is good for the sport.”
The IAAF boss is said to have awarded the hosting right for 2015 World Athletics Championship to Africa. Nigeria is one of the six countries in the continent now bidding to host the event.
Team South Africa was off to the perfect start on day three of the 21st African Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria on Friday with Caster Semenya winning gold in the 400m event.
Semenya stopped the clock in a national record of 49.96. The record, previously held by Heide Seyerling, had stood for 18 years.
Semenya now holds national records in the 400m, 800m, 1 000m and 1 500m events.
She was followed home by Christine Botslegwe of Botswana in second while Nigeria’s Yinka Ajayi took third.
The men’s relay team of Akani Simbine, Henricho Bruintjies, Simon Magakwe and Emile Erasmusadded the second gold of the night when they won the 4x100m relay event in 38.25 beating Nigeria and Ivory Coast into second and third respectively.
Thapelo Phora added to South Africa’s medal tally by taking silver in the men’s 400m race with Cornel Fredericks claiming silver in the men’s 400m hurdles.
Linique Prinsloo Beneke then claimed bronze in the women’s long jump with a leap of 6.38 metres.
Ischke Senekal added another bronze, this time in the women’s discuss with a best throw of 53.82 metres.
South Africa lead the medal table with five golds, 7 silver and 5 bronze.
Commonwealth Games champion South Africa’s Akani Simbine came through to win the men’s Africa Senior Athletics Championships 100m title in Asaba, Nigeria on Thursday afternoon.
Simbine who settled for bronze during the continental championships hosted in his home country of South Africa in Durban in 2016 improved his performance to win gold with a time of 10.25s (-2.1) to secure his first ever African title.
All Africa Games champion Ivory Coast’s Arthur Cisse held on to settle for the silver medal in 10.33 to deny South Africa for a 1-2 finish as South African Simon Magakwe completed the last podium finish for bronze.
South African 100m record-holder Akani Simbine is among a crop of the world’s finest sprinters. Here the world and Olympic 100m finalist and Commonwealth 100m champion talks passionately about his ability to run fast and what it means to him.
“My first sprinting memories were at primary school, although back then I was pretty average and never won any races. I played many sports as a child and I got heavily into soccer. It was as a 12-year-old player with my local club when I first realised I had speed. The club’s main tactic was to kick the ball over the other defenders and then I would use my pace to chase down the ball and try to score a goal.
“It was headmaster at high school who reintroduced me to athletics. He saw I had a talent and said, ‘If you want to continue to play football you need to do athletics as well.’ I gave the sport a go a high school and I recall as a 15-year-old beating kids in sprint races who were three years older than me.
“My headmaster later said I needed to find a coach. At that point I preferred football and I was not too keen but my father stumbled across a coach (Werner Prinsloo, who is still Simbine’s coach today) in a newspaper article complete with his phone number. My dad contacted him and he agreed to take a look at me. However, after I completed back-to-back 60m, I vowed I was never coming back because it was too hard.
“On reflection, I realised sprinting was something I did have a talent for. My mother said in the sport of football you are relying on a team in athletics it is all down to you. I like a challenge, and I realised if I fully committed I had the potential to go far.
“I went back to training and in my first year I became the second quickest South African 100m runner in my age group. I started to apply myself. I researched to find out more about the sport, and aged 19 I ran a South African junior record of 10.19.
“What I love about sprinting is pushing my body to the maximum and knowing at that point I cannot afford to make a single mistake. I like the thrill and adrenaline rush of committing myself fully to reaching the finish line first.
“Sprinting has given me many other opportunities; the biggest one being it has allowed me to travel the world. Until I started sprinting I’d never been on a plane. My first trip was to the zone 6 Games in Zambia. The second time I went on a plane was to compete on the European circuit. I am also fortunate to be associated with a number of good brands through various sponsorship deals. I’m living out a dream and enjoying my chosen career. Sprinting gives me both peace and happiness.”