Otieno confront Omanyala in 200m in the third AK meeting at Nyayo Stadium

The third Athletics Kenya (AK) track and field meeting takes centre this weekend with the 200m race as the main highlight at the Nyayo Stadium.

The focus will once again be on the Commonwealth Games 100m champion, Ferdinand Omanyala who has a date with Mark Otieno in the 200m. Otieno is back from a doping ban since 2020 and will be seeking to redeem himself in a bid to book a slot to represent the nation in the African Games.

Otieno tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid Methasterone ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and was banned from competing until 2023.

His ban was lifted in August last year and he has since been chasing the qualification standards for the Paris Olympics.

On his first competitive race back from suspension, Otieno clocked 10.39 seconds at a meeting in Italy, missing the Olympic qualifying time by just 0.39.

Athletes hoping to qualify for the Olympics in the 100m need to clock 10 seconds between July 1, 2023 and June 20, 2024.

The 30-year-old had previously broken the Kenyan 100m record after clocking 10.14 to clinch the title at the National Athletics Championships at the Nyayo Stadium in June, 2017. His highest World ranking in the 100m is 67 and 207 in the 200m. 

Omanyala would later go on to smash the mark as well as the African record at the 2020 Kip Keino Classic in 2020. The record was previously held by Namibia’s Frankie Fredericks

Otieno has been relishing a contest with Omanyala since his ban was lifted.

Omanyala’s last conquest came in August 2022 when he claimed Kenya’s first gold medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England— becoming the first Kenyan to win gold in the 100m race in 60 years.

During the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, last year, Omanyala finished seventh in the 100m finals.

The two will be up against Samuel Chege who placed second during the last edition of the race in a time of 21.15. They will also be joined by KDF’s Justin Mogoi who placed third in the last edition. Chege will be seeking to capitalise on the pace from the two to steal the show.

The women’s 200m will be highlighted by Maximila Imali from Western who scooped last year’s title by clocking 23:42. The 28-year-old further won the 100m race by clocking 11:45 seconds.

This year, she will be targeting to feature in the 100m, 200m, 400m, shot put, and long jump. She will come up against Damaris Mutunga of Kenya Police and Esther Mbagari of Kenya Prisons who placed second and third in the last meeting.

This is part of the AK’s build-up plan ahead of the African and Olympic Games. The trials for the African Games are slated for February 17 and 16 at the Nyayo Stadium. The African Games will take place on March 18-23 in Accra, Ghana.

Athletics Kenya

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