mobile app bar

“Not Here to Compete With Anybody”: Kenyan Sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala Join Forces With Justin Gatlin and Rodney A. Green to Reveal About ‘An African’s Athlete’s Mindset’

Rahul Goutam Hoom

“Not Here to Compete With Anybody”: Kenyan Sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala Join Forces With Justin Gatlin and Rodney A. Green to Reveal About ‘An African’s Athlete’s Mindset'

Athletes from every region arrive at track meets with their own set of aspirations. In a recent episode of the Ready Set Go podcast on YouTube, Justin Gatlin and Rodney A. Green welcomed Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala, where the icons discussed how African athletes have a different mindset than other regions when they arrive at a major tournament.

Green jumps right into the subject, pointing out that every single African athlete he has met and seen at track events has a certain level of humility. They may have accomplished a lot in their careers, yet they remain humble while engaging with other players or fans. He also mentions how, despite all of their accomplishments, these individuals have a tendency to undervalue themselves.

Omanyala agrees with the Bahamian sprinter, stating:

“I think it’s because we understand where we come from. Because you see, for me, I’ve lived a life of surviving on like $1 a day to a life that I can book a flight, I can book a ticket tomorrow, and go to wherever I want.”

Omanlaya describes his own life, going from struggling to make a living to shining on the track, making his country proud, and eventually obtaining recognition to support himself and his family. Because this sport is entirely dependent on one’s own raw pace, inexperienced athletes face significant financial difficulties.

Without speed, talent, and hard work, an athlete may fall off the stage owing to a lack of financial support from sponsors who play a significant part in the competition. The Kenyan sprinter, like many other African sportsmen, has seen it all and continues to stay grounded and never forget where they came from.

It is a challenging world out there, and the sprint star constantly reminds himself of the obstacles he has overcome to become the athlete he is today. He also remembers a quote he put on Twitter (now X) that was much admired, as he states:

“We come from humble backgrounds, poor families, old towns, and we’re not here to compete with anybody. We just want to change the storyline.”

Justin Gatlin and Rodney A. Green have already acknowledged the obstacles that African athletes face. Previously, North American and European athletes dominated track competitions, but Africa has recently emerged as a strong contender.

Justin Gatlin compares an African track prodigy with legend Usain Bolt

Letsile Tebogo has been on the track community’s attention since his season opener in the ASA Grand Prix Tour, where he won multiple accolades. The 20-year-old set a world record in the 300-meter, as well as two world leads in the 200-meter and 400-meter events.

According to Justin Gatlin, the athlete has drawn attention to other African athletes since they are unique in the track world. The four-time world champion explained that Africa had been nearly absent from the sport until Tebogo pushed it to the sky.

He describes how Usain Bolt did the same, drawing a lot of attention to Jamaica when he consistently broke world records and won many gold medals at the Olympics. Tebogo is also an inspiration to many Africans who want to pursue their sporting dreams. This year, the Botswanan sprinter will compete in numerous track meets, and he is eager to demonstrate his talent.

About the author

Rahul Goutam Hoom

Rahul Goutam Hoom


Rahul is a US Sports Journalist at The SportsRush. Since 2022, he has covered many American sporting events, including the Kentucky Derby and other important events. Rahul's skill sets begins with the lightning-fast skating of Connor McDavid and continues with the unique surfing stints of Jamie O'Brien. When he is not busy penning excellent pieces for his readers, you can find him glued to his gaming laptop, either ranking up in Valorant or taking a shot at Honkai Star Rail.

Read more from Rahul Goutam Hoom

Share this article