KASARANI, KENYA, May 13 — As “home team” Kenyans put on a display of very fine distance racing at altitude, U.S. sprinters and local fave Ferdinand Omanyala dashed fast in the thin air as well at the third annual Keino Classic CT meet.
In the crowd-pleasing final event, the men’s 100, African champion Omanyala controlled the proceedings from the get-go en route to a world-leading 10.84 with a mild negative wind (-0.5).
Omanyala started best ahead of OG/WC 200 silver medalist Kenny Bednarek to his left and WC 100 silver man Marvin Bracy-Williams on his right. By 50m the Kenyan had more than a stride on both Americans and proceeded to power to the win about 1.5m up on Bednarek (10.98). Bracy-Williams placed 3rd at 10.03.
Americans Tee Tee Terry and Sha’Carri Richardson scored victories in the women’s sprints, as Richardson utterly dominated the 200 with the second-fastest time of her career.
Richardson, 100 winner at the Doha DL, said she was asked by organizers to run the 200 here. While Kenyan President William Ruto claimed otherwise (Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was a late scratch from the 100), that hardly mattered. Richardson made the most of her half-lap — running the final 25-plus-meters with arms spread to each side in an early celebration and still winning by a whopping 0.7 margin.
She tore out of the blocks in lane 5 showing a remarkably quick cadence and closed the stagger to Gina Bass on her outside by 50m. She passed halfway in close to 11.0 almost 4m ahead of Bass and with a loose ponytail bouncing behind her.
Richardson maintained her rat-a-tat-tat stride pattern until she called it a day 15 steps from the line and flung wide her arms. Her time at the finish was 22.07, the wind reading was 1.7 and her lead on late-closing Kyra Jefferson (22.77) and Shannon Ray (22.82 PR) was about 6m.
Assessing her race as “amazing,” Richardson added, “Once again I’ve been kicked out of a 100 — in [Gaborone] Botswana and also here in Kenya. I knew I had to do my best with the performance that I was allowed to run in.
“Despite what others may have done on social media and said, no one asked me to run the 100, therefore I knew that I needed to do what I know to do in my 200. And I’m blessed for it, I was excited that I ran because of how I was feeling. I kind of was disappointed in the [event choice] but still I knew what it is that…
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