Ferdinand Omanyala Beats Fred Kerley, Noah Lyles As He Tops List of Fastest Men in the World

Ferdinand Omanyala celebrates after winning the Kip Keino Classic.
  • Ferdinand Omanyala will be looking for a medal at the World Athletics Championships in August
  • The Commonwealth Champion boasts of the fastest official time this year
  • He recently participated in three legs of the Diamond League events

The 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, is less than two months away with preparations hitting top gear ahead of the highly anticipated event.

The Budapest showdown will come hot on the heels of the rescheduled Oregon meeting last year and athletes like Ferdinand Omanyala will be seeking to make amends.

One might argue that Omanyala’s inability to reach the final in Oregon was down to his off-field issues after he experienced visa delays. However, the 27-year-old has since grown from strength to strength, redefining the sprint story in a country long known for producing middle and long-distance runners.

The Commonwealth Champion has promised to fall in the 100-metre medal bracket in Budapest – a fete no African, let alone a Kenyan, has ever achieved in the World Championships.

So far, so good and it’s looking good for him. He might have failed to win either of the three Diamond League meets he participated in, but he is still the fastest man in the world this year.

Fastest 100m times this season

3. Courtney Lindsey (America), Pjai Austin (America), Ackeem Blake (Jamaica) – 9.89 seconds

Pjai Austin clocked 9.89 seconds at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Texas on June 7 before his compatriot Courtney Lindsey used the same time two days later at the same stadium.

Ackeem Blake’s time came on May 27 at the Drake Stadium in Los Angeles.

2. Fred Kerley (America) – 9.88 seconds

The reigning World Champion has been on impeccable form this year, but he is yet to hit fast times if he intends to break or get closer to Usain Bolt’s insane records.

The American used 9.88 seconds at the Seiko Grand Prix in Yokohama, Japan, on May 21. He then clocked a couple of 9.9s during his Diamond League clashes with Omanyala.

1. Ferdinand Omanyala (Kenya) -9.84 seconds

At the top is the African record holder who obliterated the field in front of his home support at the Kip Keino Classic on May 13. The African Champion beat World Championships medallists Kenneth Bednarek and Marvin Bracy Williams.

His time of 9.84 seconds remains the fastest ratified time this year. He has also run a 9.81 and 9.78 race, but the World Athletics never ratified them due to excessive wind speeds.

Former World Champion Christian Coleman is tied for seventh with a time of 9.91 seconds, while former African Champion Akani Simbine has used 9.92 seconds this year as his best time.

World 200 metres champion Noah Lyles, whose preference is the longer race, has 9.95 seconds as his fastest time this year. Lyles, however, beat Omanyala at the Paris Diamond League on June 9.

With more than seven weeks before the start of the World Championships, Omanyala’s record might be broken before then.

Why Omanyala’s recent races offer hope

Omanyala is the fastest man on the continent and only seven people in history have run faster times than him over 100 metres.

The African title, African record, and Commonwealth Games title all make for an impressive CV yet the 27-year-old wants more.

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