Kenyan Samuel Imeta eyes Budapest glory despite WA ruling out his time

Kenyan sprinter, Samuel Imeta reckons he has sufficiently honed his act to deliver a vintage performance at the upcoming World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The 24-year-old Kenya Defence Forces officer said he drew great inspiration from his classic execution at the second Athletics Kenya track and field meeting held at Nyayo Stadium on February 26.

Imeta blazed to a phenomenal second-place finish in the event’s blistering final, clocking an impressive 9.94 to wrap up 0.13 seconds behind Commonwealth Games champion Ferdinand Omanyala.

Both athletes exceeded the 10.00 threshold established by World Athletics in August 2022 for the 2023 World Athletics Championships.

However, the global governing body failed to approve the time recorded by either athlete, blaming a malfunction with the wind measurement apparatus at Nyayo Stadium.

WA asserted that the times set by Omanyala and Imeta could not fairly be expected given the recorded headwind of -4.8m/s

Imeta said he is not going to let this setback deter him from registering a masterstroke performance in Budapest.

“I’m so excited to have managed an improved personal best. I thank God, my coaches and my training mates for their contribution to the outstanding performance,” Imeta said.

The career soldier from Mabanga in Bungoma county said training alongside Commonwealth Games champion, Omanyala has catapulted him to new heights.

He has issued a warning to the sprint star, telling him to prepare for an abrasive duel in their next encounter.

“I was thrilled with the race’s result. Competing against an athlete of Omanyala’s caliber who holds the African record and is the Commonwealth champion wasn’t going to be simple. “I am now fired up and Omanyala will have to work hard to beat me when we meet again,” Imeta remarked.

Imeta competed for Kenya on the men’s 4x100-meter gold-medal winning team in Mauritius in 2022. He ran a time of 10.12 at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to advance from heat nine of the men’s 100-meter race. He did, however, suffer a significant setback when Kenya’s 4x100-metre relay team made a mistake and was unable to complete the finals race.

Kenya’s chances of earning a podium slot were entirely dashed by the shoddy baton handover between Imeta and Kiviasi.

Omanyala, who was about to dash electrically to the finish line, was left on the track watching helplessly after the howler that denied him another opportunity to shine.

The England team won the race in 38.35. Trinidad and Tobago came in second with a season-best time of 38.70 while Nigeria finished third in 38.81.

posted Monday March 13th
by Tony Mballa