Omanyala, Simbine to light up Atlanta City Games in first clash of the year

18th May 2024

Omanyala and Simbine are set to come up against each for the first time this year at the Atlanta City Games.

Ferdinand Omanyala and Akani Simbine. PHOTO| AFP
Ferdinand Omanyala and Akani Simbine. PHOTO| AFP
  • Akani Simbine has a personal best of 9.82 seconds.
  • Ferdinand Omanyala’s current African 100m world record stands at 9.77 seconds.
  • Omanyala broke Simbine’s 100m world record at the Kip Keino Classic on September 2021.
  • The duo will compete for the first time in a 100m race this year at the Atlanta City Games.

The current and former 100m African world record holders Ferdinand Omanyala and Akani Simbine are set to come up against each for the first time this year at the Atlanta City Games.

The duo are among the eight sprinters confirmed for the showdown, which is scheduled to go down on Saturday, May 18 in the United States.

According to the organizers, Omanyala, who holds the current African record of 9:77 seconds, is the crowd’s favorites going into the race.

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“He’s back! Are you ready to relive City Games 2023 energy? Catch crowd favorite Ferdinand Omanyala, in action as he competes on Saturday – this time at 100m!” read part of the statement.

Although Omanyala has taken part in various disciplines outside the continent in 2024, he is yet to race in the 100m race.

The one-time rugby player's first competitive 100m race of the season came at the 2024 Kip Keino Classic, where he performed dismally.

He clocked a slow time of 10.03 to finish fifth in a race won by United States runner Kenny Bednarek in 9.91.

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On the other hand, Simbine has already raced in the 100m race this season, with his latest appearance coming at the Shanghai Diamond League, which was staged in China on Saturday, April 27.

The South African athlete produced a scintillating performance in Shanghai, crossing the finishing line in 10.01, and in the process stunned pre-race favorites Fred Kerley and Christian Coleman.

Besides Omanyala and Simbine, other stars who are expected to grace this year’s Atlanta City Games include Ronnie Baker (USA), Ryiem Forde (Jamaica), and Trey Cunningham (USA).

Kendal Williams (USA), Terrance Laird (USA) and Nigeria’s Udodi Onwuzurike will also be in contention.

Finally, for those interested in watching the race, they can catch it live on Noah Lyles’ YouTube channel at 12:20 am on Sunday.

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