Kenya’s and African champion Ferdinand Omanyala was upbeat ahead of his 100m finals at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Wednesday.

Omanyala won the first gold medal for Kenya at the event, bouncing back in style from the disappointing World Athletics Championships in Oregon last month.

The eighth-fastest man of all time over the distance clocked 10.02 to win the race relatively comfortably ahead of continental rival and defending champion Akani Simbine of South Africa.

Sri Lankan sprinter Yupun Abeykoon finished a hundredth of a second behind Simbine to take bronze in a hotly contested finish, with Jeremiah Azu of Wales in fifth with 10.19.

After crossing the line, Omanyala said: “I came here with the sole aim of winning the gold and in the final it was a case of controlling the race from the start.

“Once I got a good start I knew I would win the gold. When I crossed the line I felt like jumping for joy.’

Following his marvellous victory, renowned leaders back home led Kenyans in celebration of the achievement.

Former Prime Minister and presidential hopeful Raila Odinga said;

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

Odinga’s political nemesis William Ruto on his part also reacted to Omanyala’s stellar performance in Birmingham;

“Kenya’s gem and Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala gets gold at the Commonwealth Games, clocking 10.02 seconds. What a man! We are proud of you.”

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