Omanyala recalled how he was living in Huruma Estate, Nairobi, training for six months without money but was only motivated to get better in the 100m sprint races.
Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala has recounted how his girlfriend played a pivotal role in his success as the country’s current hotshot athlete, to the point of catering for his rent.
Speaking during his appreciating ceremony that was held at the New Stanley hotel and staged by a local betting company Odibets, Omanyala recalled how he was living in Huruma Estate, Nairobi, training for six months without money but was only motivated to get better in the 100m sprint races.
Amid raucous cheers from the crowd, the sprinter revealed that his girlfriend was taking care of the rent as well as the necessary bills as she had a job.
Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala with his girlfriend on September 22, 2021. /TWITTER
The amount she managed to earn was directed to catering for Omanyala’s training as well as food and rent for the couple.
“I trained for six months without any competition, we had no money, my girlfriend was paying the rent and taking care of the bills because she was working.
“She used to bring money to the table and was like ‘This is for your training, this is for our rent and food, so at least when you come from training you have everything ready for you’. Everything is getting back, so I want to take care of her so that she gets anything she wants, she’s been part of this journey,” he revealed to invited guests at the hotel as well as millions watching at home.
Omanyala during the event was gifted a brand new Toyota Harrier owing to the recent efforts that saw him smash Kenya’s record for the fifth time during the Kip Keino Classic held at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Saturday, September 18.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed were among the dignitaries alongside other Kenyans who cheered Omanyala on his way to breaking the African record by clocking 9.76 seconds, finishing second behind USA’s Trayvon Bromwel who clocked 9.75, becoming the second-fastest man in the world in 2021 and the eighth-fastest man of all time in the races.
The car’s number plate will bear the number 977 to celebrate his huge record-breaking achievement.
Odibets’ General Manager Dedan Mungai said that the company was proud to associate itself with Omanyala and walking with him in his journey.
“We as a company are proud to associate ourselves with Omanyala who has proved beyond all means that Kenya can conquer the world in the field of athletics, his character, resilience, endurance and performance are aligned with our core values as a company, ” said Mungai as he handed over the car keys to Omanyala.
Speaking during the event, Omanyala said that he always knew he was destined for greatness and was very grateful to the firm as they have walked the journey with him supporting him in all that he did.
“Odibets came at the right time when I needed them and It is through them, I was able to focus on my training enabling me to break the African record, ” said an elated Omanyala who had been accompanied by his family for the appreciation ceremony.
In his speech, Omanyala advised his fellow athletes to embrace hard work and never give up on their dreams.
“Hard work, discipline and perseverance are the three main components of success, as I ran the race on Saturday at the Kasarani Sports stadium I didn’t know right now I would be the proud owner of a car,” said Omanyala who could not hide his joy as he received the car from Mungai.
This is Omanyala’s second reward from the betting firm as earlier on it gifted him a financial boost of Ksh1.5 million for qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics this year.
Ferdinand Omanyala receiving his brand new Toyota Harrier from Odibets. /TWITTER