Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala booked his place in the 100m semifinals of the World Athletics Championships at the Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday.
The 26-year-old African champion overcame a late arrival in the US and jet lag to qualify for the semis after finishing third in the seventh and last heat of the 100m.
Omanyala clocked 10.10 seconds behind Japan's Sani Brown (9.98 seconds) and Edward Osei-Nketia of New Zealand to sail to the semi-finals scheduled for Sunday morning at 4.00 am Kenyan time.
The Kenyan runner arrived in Eugene less than three hours before his race due to visa hitches that saw him leave the country for the championships on Thursday evening.
He left Nairobi on Thursday at 6.00 pm aboard a Qatar airlines flight that took five hours to Doha (Qatar), from where he boarded another 17-hour connecting flight to Seattle, Washington. He then took another one-and-half hours flight to Eugene where he arrived at 2.30 am ahead of his race 4.50 am.
Earlier on, Tokyo Olympics silver medalist and America’s world leader Fred Kerley won heat six after clocking 9.79, the fastest heat time in history at a major championship.
America’s Marvin Bracy won Heat 1 in 10.05, Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake was second in 10.15 while Nigeria’s Raymond Okevwo was third in 10.17.
Trayvon Bromell, the second fasted man in the world this year, also qualified for the semis at home with a 9.89sec performance in Heat 3.
Sprints powerhouse Jamaica will be represented in Saturday’s semi-finals by Oblique Seville, who clocked heat-winning 9.93sec, and 2011 world champion Yohan Blake.