NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21 – Sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala has received a Sh1.5mn financial boost from betting firm Odibets as he continues with his training, hopeful that Athletics Kenya will okay him to get into the Olympics team.
It’s been a roller coaster of emotions for Omanyala, with his 10.01s run at a Nigeria meet last month being contested for a national record as well as qualification to the Tokyo Olympics.
Even as he waits for light at the end of the tunne, the 25-year old continues with his training, hoping that there will be a ray of shining light towards his Olympic dream.
“I feel good that Odibets came in to support me. It gives me hope for a brighter future,” said Omanyala, while disclosing that the deal with the betting firm was not a formal one yet. “It’s like a gesture of support. Supporting talent at all levels,” said Omanyala.
Odibets Country marketing manager Aggrey Sayi said that the betting firm decided to support Omanyala because his hardwork and talent could be clearly seen from his recent performance.
“We decided to support Omanyala after his brilliant performance over the past few months that has seen him qualify for the Olympics, the token we have offered him will help him grow his career to the next level,” said Mr. Sayi.
There has been a contest between AK and organizers of the MOC Grand Prix in Nigeria where Omanyala set his record. The Nigeria Athletics Federation was also thrown into the tussle, contesting the legitimacy of the meet.
However, organizers of the event, from where a host of Nigerian athletes also picked up Olympic qualification time, have come out to state that the meet was legitimate.
“All the results from every edition of the MoC Grand Prix, including the third edition on 30th–31st March 2021, were valid and legitimate, and it can easily be verified online that all the results have long since been ratified by World Athletics. Within Nigeria, only the AFN can ratify and send results to World Athletics, which has clearly been the case with the MoC Grand Prix. AFN has not suddenly ‘un-sanctioned’ the MoC Grand Prix,” the MoC organisers stated.