Omanyala set a new 100 meters national record on Saturday, August 14.
The Kenyan sprinter clocked 9.96 seconds in a meet in Austria, bettering his previous personal best time of 10.00 seconds set during the just concluded 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the semi-finals.
The new record makes Omanyala the first Kenyan to complete the race in under 10 seconds in a major athletic competition.
His new record is also 0.01 seconds outside the African record.
The rise and rise of Omanyala to become among Kenyan favorite athletes came during the Olympics when he defeated his role model and Jamaican sprinter, Yohan Blake.
Although he did not qualify for the finals, that moment gave him hope.
Omanyala joined athletics in 2016 abandoning his rugby career which kicked off when he was a student at Friends School Kamusinga.
Omanyala joined the school’s rugby team in 2012 while in Form Three, making an impression to scouts from the national team.
“After high school, I was called to play for the Under-20 (U20) Kenya Sevens but then coming back here in Nairobi, there were no trials [sic],” the sprinter revealed during a past interview with a local tv station.
His sprinting talent was discovered by rugby coach, Duncan Ayiemba, in 2016. This was the hallmark of his athletic career as he went on to join Kenya’s athletics team in 2017.
In 2017, he suffered a setback after being sanctioned by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya on doping allegations.
He made his return in 2018 and suffered a few other setbacks including injuries until he made it to the national team.