Letsile Tebogo was surprised on Sunday, August 20, when he noticed on the notice board at the Nemzeti Atlétikai Központ stadium in Budapest – where the world athletics championships take place – that he was second in a final of the Hotly contested 100m.
Behind the American Noah Lyles, crowned, three men ran in 9 s 88. Including him. For one thousandth he beat the Briton Zharnel Hughes and for four, the Jamaican Oblique Seville. This time is the personal record of the young Batswana, who became the first African athlete to reach the world podium in the straight line.
At 20, Tebogo is emerging as one of the new faces of sprinting. “It’s really a great pride to win this silver medal. This medal is a bonus for mehe reacted after the test. It was not the plan, the objective, it was only the final. »
Still, he’s certainly not done with his budding collection. Thursday, August 24, he should cross the 200m semi-finals without incident (from 8:20 p.m.) to be the next day a candidate for a podium in the final, behind the ultra-favorite Noah Lyles, in the running for a double . Because if the hatching of the prodigy arrived earlier than expected on 100 m, his recent performances on the half-lap of the track already rank him among the legitimate contenders.
The terror of the sprint among juniors
It was over this distance that he won the first victory of his career, in the Diamond League, in Lausanne (Switzerland), on June 30. Then, in London on July 23, Tebogo broke his personal best in 19.50, finishing a breath behind the Floridian. He erased, at the same time, the African record, held by the Namibian Frank Fredericks for twenty-five years (19 s 68). Over his huge career, Fredericks has racked up one world gold and three silver in the 200m, as well as four Olympic silver medals – two in the 100m and two in the 200m. If the young Botswanan still has work to compete with the prize list of his Namibian neighbor, he has all the capacities.
In 2021 and 2022, Tebogo was the terror of the sprint among the juniors: double world champion on the straight line and double world vice-champion in the half lap. At the age of 18, in April 2022, he improved the world junior 100m record for the first time, thanks to a time of 9 s 96, becoming only the second man to run below 10 seconds before his 20th birthday, after the American Trayvon Bromell, in 2014.
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