Why Ferdinand Omanyala runs super fast in Kenya but struggles to replicate elsewhere

Ferdnand Omanyala

Why Ferdinand Omanyala runs super fast in Kenya but struggles to replicate elsewhere

Funmilayo Fameso 16:57 - 16.06.2024

Commonwealth 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala through the years has produced his best performances in Kenya. Perhaps there are specific reasons to why this happens.

In a thing of reoccurrence yearly, Africa's fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala is known to produce his best performances on home soil.

However, he struggles to replicate the same outputs elsewhere, thus making fans now doubt his ability to deliver on the big stage.

© Ferdinand Omanyala X.

His recent exploit was at the Kenya Olympic trials, where he sped to a comfortable blistering world lead of 9.79s (the fastest time in the world since 2022) to win the men's 100m final, as second-placed Mark Otieno finished in a distant 10.12s.

Omanyala's blazing time is his second-fastest career time behind his 9.77s African Record clocked at the same venue in 2022. Until now, the explosive sprinter hasn't run that fast or close to it, hence his recent feat has been met with different reactions from track fans.

Most believe the bulky speedster falters when he races in Europe or major championships against the big guns of men's sprinting. While this will continually be controversial until he delivers a global medal, the question most enthusiasts fail to ask is, why's he always a super fast runner on Kenyan soil?

Though there may be several assumptions to this, however, based on specific relativity, these three reasons are pointers to validate answers to the question which are stated below.

1 - Kenya's High Altitude

Due to the high altitude in Kenya, which is about 1700 meters above sea level, compared to the average altitude in most parts of Europe, America, and Africa around 100 - 600 meters.

It's scientifically believed that running at high altitudes is beneficial to sprinters in their explosive and acceleration phase, hence helping them run faster.

Photo credit || Ferdinand Omanyala X

This is why sprinters competing at such high altitudes run their fastest times, especially when targeting to hit a qualifying standard or blaze to record-breaking times.

2 - Home support

Omanyala gets the support of his country people when he's home, so will always be eager to impress them by surpassing their expectations.

Kenya is known as a middle and long-distance nation, but since the emergence of their star sprinter, he gets their backing and confidence compared to when he's outside their watch.

His enthusiasm to impress and be the best can drive him to his fastest records, which he knows will put him in the global limelight for that time frame.

3 - No competition

As stated earlier, there's little or no competition for Omanyala in his country, so whenever he races, he isn't storming to earn winning bragging rights against his competitors but running to break his lifetime records.

In stiffer competitions and knowing he isn't the favourite to win, the 28-year-old can be overwhelmed with the frights and pressure of wanting to impress his rivals and track fans.

Considering he's a showman, this mental aspect can deprive his maximum productivity on big occasions.

These points are just specific relativity and not straight facts. There may be other reasons for his ability to run fast times in Kenya, but when he finally delivers at major championships and competitions, definitely the question won't matter anymore.