Ferdinand Omanyala, the Commonwealth Games 100 metres champion, set a world-leading time of 9.86 seconds in the heats at the second leg of the Athletics Kenya Track and Field Meeting on Friday.
He made a strong start, picking up speed midway through the race and leaving his competitors in his wake. The delighted crowd at the Nyayo National Stadium cheered him on as he stormed towards the finish line.
Omanyala is the African 100m champion and has been tipped to set a new personal best and break the 9.9-second barrier in the final. He was joined in the semi-finals by compatriot Steve Onyango, who finished second in the third heat with a time of 10.34 seconds.
Kenya Defence Forces athlete Samuel Imeta ran the second-fastest time of the day, clocking 10.20 seconds to win the fifth heat, while Pius Adom from Uganda ran the third-fastest time, taking first place in the seventh heat with a time of 10.31 seconds.
South Africa’s Henricho Bruintjies, who is ranked in the top 10 in the world for the 100m, finished sixth in the second heat after a mishap at the blocks. He clocked a time of 10.94 seconds.
The first heat was won by Tyson Omondi in a time of 10.52 seconds, while Benson Mutende from Kenya Defence Forces won the sixth heat with a time of 10.59 seconds.
The semi-finals of the Athletics Kenya Track and Field Meeting are scheduled for Saturday, with the final set to take place on Sunday.