Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala rallied from behind to win in 9.93 seconds, beating defending champion Akani Simbine from South Africa.
This happened in the ongoing Africa Senior Athletics Championships taking place at Côte d’Or National Sports Complex, Reduit, Mauritius.
Omanyala who has been in fine form, outclassed Simbine who timed 9.930 seconds in the finishing second.
The police officer broke a 24-year-old Championship record of 9.94 seconds set by Nigerian Sean Ogunkoya in Dakar in 1998.
Prior to winning the 100 m final, Omanyala had set a fast time of 10.05 seconds to book a date with Simbine.
Omanyala edged out Nigerian Raymond Kevwo to second place in 10.11 in the opening heat of the semi-final race.
Omanyala’s compatriot Samuel Imeta finished second behind defending champion Akani Simbine from South Africa as both qualified from the fifth heat. Imeta clocked 10.34 against Simbine’s 10.14.
The 25-year-old is among the Kenya contingent of 55 athletes, 25 women and 30 men that are competing in Reduit, Mauritius, where the championships will run from June 8 to 12 at Cote d’Or National Sports Complex.
The African champion, in an interview, said he is out to fight for medals in the upcoming event, saying he has recovered from an injury that kept him out of the World Athletics continental tour.
“I want to win medals in Mauritius and fight for medals and that’s my focus for now,” Omanyala said.
The athlete who competes in their events, 100 m, 200 m and the relays said he is in perfect form and his preparations have been at par heading to Mauritius.
“My preparations were great. I can’t complain,” said Omanyala.
This will be the first assignment for Omanyala after he was laid off in the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold at the Golden Spike in Ostrava, Czech Republic last Tuesday.
The national team will be hoping to surpass results from the previous edition in Asaba, Nigeria in 2018, where they managed 19 medals.
Kenya led the continent with 11 gold, six silver and two bronze medals.
Omanyala will be seeking a hat-trick of titles in 100m, 200m and 4x100m.
In the women’s race, Maxmilla Imali missed out on the podium after finishing fifth in 11.29 seconds.