Kenny Bednarek reveals what he loves about Kenya after maiden win in Nairobi

Kenny Bednarek reveals what he loves about Kenya after maiden win in Nairobi

Joel Omotto 08:00 - 22.04.2024

American sprinter Kenny Badnarek has explained what attracts him to Kenya after finally winning in Nairobi following two failed attempts at Kip Keino Classic.

Olympic 200m silver medallist Kenny Badnarek has revealed how his love for Kenyan fans encourages him to sign up for the Kip Keino Classic.

Bednarek made his third appearance at the Continental Tour meeting in Nairobi on Saturday and secured his first win after clocking 9.91 seconds with home favourite Ferdinand Omanyala managing fifth place.

The race was billed as a clash between the American and Omanyala given the two were the star attractions in the previous two editions but it did not live up to the billing this time, as Omanyala clocked 10.03 to miss out on the title he had won in the last two editions, while Bednarek secured his maiden win in Nairobi.

Following his win, Kung Fu Kenny, as he is popularly known, said he keeps coming to Kenya because of the atmosphere in the stadium plus many other things that he enjoys while in the East African country.

“The atmosphere, the people, the food and everything. I come back every single year because you guys are pumped up and Omanyala is a good starter and he is going to make me better every time I step on the track,” said Bednarek when asked what he loves about Kenya.

“Tomorrow [Sunday] I will be going to the Safari to enjoy myself and keep my feet up.”

The 25-year-old paid a visit to the Nairobi National Park on Sunday as he sought to unwind after his win.

“Safari. Hope I see some big cats today at the Nairobi National Park,” Benarek posted on X on Sunday.

Bednarek made his Kip Keino Classic debut in 2022 when he finished sixth as Omanyala won his first title on home soil before running the Commonwealth champion close last year, finishing second in 9.98, while the Kenyan won in 9.84.

His persistence paid off on Saturday as he won the 2024 edition which gives him plenty of confidence heading into the Olympics.

“Last two years he [Omanyala] beat me, so third times a charm and I just had a race plan, I stuck with it and got the win,” he added.

“I have been training a lot, working hard on the track and I am just happy to see the results on the track and I cannot ask more. I am happy about the time.”

The American will now turn his focus to the World Relay Championships in Nassau, Bahamas in May before making his Diamond League debut this season in Doha, Qatar where he will run in the 200m.