BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom, Aug 6 – Kenyan runners are celebrated in middle and long distance races, but now they are slowly making a mark in the sprints.
For donkey years Kenyan sprinters have continued to misfire until Ferdinand Omanyala broke records from ruling the continent to smashing Seraphino Antao’s 60-year Commonwealth Games record in Birmingham.
The trailblazing Antao was the first and only Kenyan to win the 100m sprint at the Club games in 1962, when the race was 100 yards (Approx 91.44m).
But with renewed inspiration from Omanyala, a group of Kenya sprinters have started putting up decent performances to try and match the global’s best.
Seasoned sprinter Mike Mokamba is one of the Kenyan runners hoping to make his mark and looking to the future with great expectations.
Mokamba reached the 200m semi finals of the Commonwealth Games here in Birmingham after finishing fourth in 20.90 Seconds missing the final by microseconds.
He competed in the 4X100m relay semis alongside Omanyala, Samwel Imeta and Hesborne Ochieng where they qualified to Sunday’s final.
Asked about his race, he said: “It was okay, but making it to the final was something good though, I have not done what I wanted to do, but I have chances in finals of the relays. I wanted to run faster and at least achieve my season best and to win outright,” the Kenya Defence Forces athlete told Capital Sport in Birmingham.
“Sometimes you mess in your execution of which I did in the 200m semis. But at the final of relays I know I will run faster.”
And prodded to explain the Jamaican facet in the race, Mokamba added: “For now I don’t think if Jamaicans are good, I think we’ll have an edge over them.”
“We are coming up well as a country in sprints and what we need is just the support, for now, I just want a global medal, that’s it. It’s been a long odyssey but I am picking up well so I should be good well in time for the next worlds.”
-Alex Isaboke is reporting from Birmingham, United Kingdom-