NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 3 – The second day of the athletics program at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom offers Kenya a chance of two medal events, one of which will be historic, involving Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala.
The African champion and record holder is lined up for the semis of the men’s 100m, with the final set up for later in the evening.
Here is the complete schedule for Team Kenya’s athletics legion in Birmingham on Wednesday.
12:38pm – Women’s 400m Heats
Mary Moraa will be taking her next step as she seeks a major championship double for the first time ever in her career. Moraa has already progressed to the final of the women’s 800m and she will look to make the same route with the 400m.
Moraa broke the national record at the National Trials last month and will be seeking to continue with her form, lining up from Heat Two.
With a season’s best time of 50.84 achieved at the national trials, she is the fastest off her Heat but will be wary of home girl Ama Pipi who has run 51.31secs this season while Canadian Aiyana Stiverne has a season’s best time of 51.21secs.
Also lining up will be Veronica Mutua who starts off in Heat One.
1:20pm – Men’s 800m Heats
Cornelius Tuwei was a late inclusion into the team, arriving in Birmingham less than three days to competition. With defending champion Wycliffe Kinyamala in the race, Kenya has been given leeway to field three athletes.
Tuwei will line up in Heat Two, but it will be Elias Ngeny taking to the track first as he comes off in Heat One. Holder Kinyamal will look to put the disappointment of the World Championships behind his back and begins his title defense in Heat Three where he is the fastest on the field.
3pm – Men’s 400m Heats
Fresh from winning the 800m World Championship title, Emmanuel Korir will look for glory in half the distance at the Commonwealth Games, where he competes for the second time.
With a season’s best time of 44.87, he starts off his campaign in the first Heat of the day as the fastest from his field. Only Botswana’s Zibane Ngozi with a season’s best time of 45.43 comes close to his time.
William Rayian will be the second Kenyan in the 400m and he starts off in Heat Seven where he is the second fastest in the field.
9:18pm – Men’s 100m Semi-finals
Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala will be seeking his first major title and will line up in the second semi of the evening.
Omanyala has said he will be targeting to run a sub-10 time in the semis and he will be in a competitive field, that includes Nigerian Favour Ashe who has run 9.99secs this season.
Kemar Bailey-Cole of Jamaica is another potential threat with a season’s best time of 10.04secs while Trinidad and Tobago’s Jerod Elock (10.03) is also one to watch out for.
The second Kenya in the semi is Samuel Imeta and he lines out in Heat Three which has two sub-10 performers, Sri Lankan Yupun Abeykoon who beat Omanyala in a race in Germany in May as well as Ghana’s Benjamin Azamati who has a 9.90 performance this season.
9:43pm – Women’s 100m semi-final
National champion and record holder Maximila Imali lines up in the third semi-final where she seeks to book a historic place in the final.
With an 11.19 season’s best time, she will fancy her chances in the heat but it will not come easy as there are three sub-11 performers on the field.
10pm – Women’s 10,000m final
Kenya’s chance to add on to its four medals so far will come in the final of the women’s 10,000m where 2015 World Cross Country silver medalist Irene Cheptai will lead the hunt alongside Sheila Chepkirui.
With no Ethiopian opposition, the Kenyan duo will fancy their chances for gold.
If all goes well, Ferdinand Omanyala will provide another opportunity for gold if he makes the final, with the race scheduled for 11:30pm.