Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala has set a new national and African record in the 60-meter sprint at the Lievin World Indoor Tour meet in France. Omanyala clocked a time of 6.54 seconds, beating the previous record set by Nigerian-born Qatari runner Femi Ogunode in 2018.
Omanyala, who won the Commonwealth Games 100m championship in 2018, beat world indoor 60m champion Marcell Lamont Jacobs to win the 60m final at the Meeting Lievin Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais on Wednesday. It was the first time Omanyala had beaten Jacobs, who won the 100m gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Speaking to the media after his victory, Omanyala said he was expecting to break the record. "My body has been picking up so well. I was just coming here to confirm," he said.
The Italian sprinter Jacobs, who has struggled with injuries and fitness issues since winning gold in Tokyo, finished in second place with a time of 6.57 seconds. Ivorian Arthur Cisse came in third, clocking 6.59 seconds.
The Lievin World Indoor Tour meet marked the end of Omanyala's World Athletics Indoor Tour, where he won in three events, breaking his own national record twice and finishing second in one. He dedicated his latest win to his father, who was celebrating his birthday.
In a tweet after the race, Omanyala said, "Lievin. Big win, new national record and personal best. 6.54!!! God did it. Unleashing the heat in the cold weather. Dad's birthday gift."