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Ferdinand Omanyala does the impossible thing of ‘uniting’ Raila and Ruto

Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala has accomplished the near impossible thing of uniting Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who are locked in a bitter contest for the presidency.

The two presidential candidates have temporarily set aside the political feud to congratulate Omanyala for bagging gold for Kenya in the 100m race at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Thursday night.

“Kenya’s gem and Africa’s fastest man @Ferdiomanyala gets gold at the Commonwealth Games, clocking 10.02 seconds. What a man! We are proud of you,” Dr Ruto tweeted following Omanyala sensational victory.

Likewise, Mr Odinga hailed Omanyala for making all Kenyans proud.

“Africa’s fastest man, a son of our soil, @Ferdiomanyala, you have made our entire nation proud. Your victory exemplifies the results of focus, courage, consistency, and sacrifice. Congratulations!” Mr Odinga said.

Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala (right) crosses the finish line in first place ahead of South Africa’s Akani Simbine (centre) during the men’s 100m final of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on August 3, 2022. PHOTO | AFP

Omanyala breezed to comfortable win in a time of 10:02 seconds to dethrone hitherto Commonwealth champion Akani Simbine of South Africa who timed 10:07. Yupun Abeykoon from Sri Lanka settled for bronze in 10.14 sec.

The 26-year-old Omanyala wrestled the Commonwealth Games title from Simbine less than two months after snatching the Africa crown from him. Speaking after his victory, the newly-crowned Commonwealth Games champion said he now has his sights on the Olympics and world titles.

“Winning the Africa and Commonwealth titles in addition to setting a new Africa Record in less than one year makes that dream for the world and Olympic title possible and a reality,” Omanyala told Nation.Africa.

Omanyala’s victory in Birmingham has atoned for his disappointment at the recently concluded World Athletics Championship in Oregon, where he bowed out in the semi-final in the backdrop of a visa hitch that delayed his arrival in the USA.