NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug. 3 – The second day of the athletics program at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom, offers Kenya the chance of two medal competitions, one of which will be historic, involving Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala.
The African champion and record-holder has lined up for the men’s 100m semi-finals, with the final scheduled for later in the evening.
Here’s the full schedule for Team Kenya’s Athletics Legion on Wednesday in Birmingham.
12:38 pm – Women’s 400 meters
Mary Moraa will make her next move as she seeks a major championship double for the first time in her career. Moraa has already made it to the women’s 800m final and will try to do the same route in the 400m.
Moraa broke the national record at the National Trials last month and will look to continue her form by lining up from Heat Two.
With a season best of 50.84 set in the national trials, she is the fastest of her run but will be wary of homewife Ama Pipi, who has run 51.31 seconds this season while the Canadian Aiyana Stiverne has a season best of 51.21 seconds.
Also taking the turn is Veronica Mutua, who will start in Heat One.
1:20pm – Men’s 800m
Cornelius Tuwei was accepted into the team late, arriving in Birmingham less than three days before the competition. With defending champion Wycliffe Kinyamala in the running, Kenya has scope to field three athletes.
Tuwei will compete in Heat Two but it will be Elias Ngeny who will hit the track first if he gets away in Heat One. Defending champion Kinyamal will be looking to put the disappointment of the World Championship behind him and will begin his title defense in heat three where he is the fastest on the field.
3pm – Men’s 400m
Fresh from winning the 800m world title, Emmanuel Korir will be seeking half-distance glory at the Commonwealth Games, where he is competing for the second time.
With a best time of the season of 44.87, he started the season in the first race of the day as the fastest in his field. Only Botswana’s Zibane Ngozi comes close with a season best of 45.43.
William Rayian will be the second Kenyan in the 400m, starting in heat seven where he is second fastest in the field.
21:18 – Men’s 100m semi-finals
Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala is aiming for his first major title and will compete in the second semi-final of the evening.
Omanyala has said he is targeting a sub-10 time in the semifinals and he will be in a competitive field that includes Nigerian Favor Ashe, who has run 9.99s this season.
Jamaica’s Kemar Bailey-Cole is another potential threat with a season-best 10.04s, while Trinidad and Tobago’s Jerod Elock (10.03) should also be watched.
The second Kenyan in the semifinals is Samuel Imeta and he’s competing 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 Ghanaian Benjamin Azamati, who has one here Performance of 9.90 has season.
21:43 – Women’s 100m semi-finals
National Champion and record holder Maximila Imali competes in the third semi-final where she is attempting to secure a historic place in the finals.
With a season best of 11.19 she will be calculating her chances in the heat but it won’t be easy with three U-11 players on the field.
10pm – Women’s 10,000m final
Kenya’s chance to complete its previous four medals comes in the women’s 10,000m final, where 2015 World Cross Country Championships silver medalist Irene Cheptai will lead the hunt alongside Sheila Chepkirui.
With no Ethiopian opposition, the Kenyan duo will assess their chances for gold.
If everything goes right, Ferdinand Omanjala will offer another shot at gold if he makes it to the finals, with the race scheduled for 11:30pm.