Letsile Tebogo from Botswana achieved a historic milestone by clinching victory in the men’s 100-meter race, the premier track and field event, in scorching conditions in Budapest, Hungary. This remarkable feat marked Africa’s first-ever global gold medal in this category.
As reported by Africa News, Tebogo’s exceptional performance translated to a personal record time of 9.88 seconds, positioning him a mere 0.05 seconds behind the internationally renowned athlete Noah Lyles.
Both Lyles and Zharnel Hughes, the British sprinter securing third place on the podium, offered their applause as this announcement was made during the press conference.
The standout athlete himself expressed astonishment at earning the global silver medal, stating, “I am incredibly proud to have secured this silver medal. It’s an unexpected bonus for me. It wasn’t part of the plan or the goal; it was about making it to the final.”
Numerous competitors, including Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala, had come close but fell short of securing a world medal in the men’s 100-meter event on the Hungarian track prior to Tebogo’s remarkable achievement. South Africa’s Akani Simbine, who achieved this feat in 2017, 2019, and 2022, was the most recent contender to come close.
Tebogo has become a rising global athletics star, not solely within Africa. He showcased his potential by securing gold medals in both the 100m and 200m events at the 2021 and 2022 world junior championships, respectively.
Tebogo, who was merely 18 years old at the time, joined Trayvon Bromell as one of the few runners to break the ten-second barrier in the 100-meter race before turning twenty. A few months later, he achieved another milestone by breaking the 200-meter time barrier of 20 seconds, further underscoring his skill and promise in the sport.
At present, the 20-year-old athlete is channeling his focus toward the 200-meter race, with the aim of adding another medal to his already remarkable collection.
“In my view, following this achievement, both the continent and the nation will contemplate organizing more high-profile races, events that people are eager to witness,” remarked Tebogo, who divides his training regimen between Gaborone, Botswana’s capital, South Africa, and Europe throughout the year.
He attributed his accomplishment to his decision to disconnect from social media, noting, “Stepping away from social media was a substantial decision. It wasn’t a simple choice. I made a concerted effort to distance myself from it. And here are the results.”