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Relief as Omanyala finally secures US visa

Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala has been granted a last-minute visa to travel to the US barely 24 hours to the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA.

The African champion and record holder in 100m confirmed the news on his Instagram page on Thursday afternoon.

“Firstly, I would like to thank God, President of Kenya HE Uhuru Kenyatta and GOK through MOSCA, CS Amb Amina Mohammed have been at the forefront in ensuring I get my visa. Thank you to the US Embassy in Kenya for granting me my visa.”

“I will also be competing in the commonwealth games in Birmingham July 28th. Looking forward to making all Kenyans proud,” he added.

Earlier, Omanyala shared his frustration with Nairobi News over the delayed visa. The 26-year-old, with a personal best of 9.77, is the 8th fastest man of all time in 100 meters.

Kenya has sent a contingent of 46 athletes to the 2022 World Athletics Championships while 157 athletes will represent the country at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

At the same time, the Ministry of Sports has confirmed that all the Team Kenya athletes had secured their visas.

“We are very pleased to secure both USA and UK visas for all our athletes including our sensational athlete @Ferdiomanyala. Our athletes are now set for both the world championships and commonwealth games,” they said in a tweet.

On Tuesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta commended the athletes for bringing pride and honor to Kenya as he flagged off the games.

Kenya is not only statistically the best performing county in the world in middle and long-distance races, but also the most successful African country at the Olympic Games.

While Kenyan athletes are expected to dominate in the middle distance races, Omanyala is eyeing Kenya’s first ever medal at the 100m race in the World Championship. The Championships, a nine-day event, is scheduled to take place from July 15-24 in in Eugene, Oregon.