It is literally a race against time – and Africa’s fastest man will have to do wonders to make it to the World Athletics Championships.

Ferdinand Omanyala got his US visa only Thursday afternoon – 24 hours before the race of his life. And that was with the intervention of the President of Kenya.

A flight from Nairobi to Oregon is 18+ hrs. Omanyala has 3hrs after landing to clear customs, get to the arena, pick accreditation, warm up, then compete with the other (well-rested) athletes.

Omanyala is also the joint third-fastest man in the world this year, posting 9.85 seconds in May. The African record holder has an all-time best of 9.77 seconds – a time that would have handily won the Olympic title last year in Tokyo.

Most recently, he beat one of the other favourites for the World Athletics Championships crown, South Africa’s Akani Simbine, during June’s African Athletics Championships. He looks to be in excellent form heading into the Worlds.

He will race at 1850 Oregon time on Friday (1.50am Ghana time, early Saturday morning.)