Budapest 2023: Letsile Tebogo, the African star of the world sprint

On Sunday 20 August, world sprint observers bowed to a 20-year-old brash but talented kid. This is a Botswana star nicknamed: Letsile Tebogo, silver medalist in the 100 m in 9.88 seconds in Budapest.

A footballer and winger based on his pace, because he did not believe athletics could feed his man, the young man, raised by a single mother, focused only on athletics”. 2018-2019 is when I realized I could turn professional “. Change realized awareness, marking the start of an illustrious career.

By the end of 2020 in a complete stranger’s condition,

Tebogo has hit the headlines in 2021. At the age of just 18, he won the double title of junior world champion in 100m and 200m. He will do the same double feat in 2022. Last year, he became the second sprinter in history to run under 10 seconds before the age of 20 in the 100m and 4 months later won the 200m with a time of 19.98. The stratospheric performance that makes this a great global sprint promises.

But there is nothing extraordinary to force him to hold his head high. Very relaxed and smiling, he allows himself to dance or play on the bus that takes us to the Aquincum Hotel, the district of elephant runners and many foreign delegations. This, while in 24 hours he will play a semi-final and perhaps a historic final. This was not enough to attract the FIA ​​President Jeannot Couadio and the Director General of Sport Mr. Bertin Coffey and all the Africans who have become their fans. , This kid is a genius. And it is very easy too. This is a sign of the great. I see him with a medal in the 100m final “, the boss of Ivorian athletics told me.

And that prediction turned into a historic feat on Sunday 20 August in the heart of the National Athletics Center in Budapest. Tebogo finished second behind American Noah Lyles (9.83 s) in 9.88 s, allowing Africa to achieve their best ever performance in the world. , It is indeed a matter of great pride to win this silver medal. This medal is a bonus for me. It wasn’t the plan, it wasn’t the goal, it was just the end game Letsile Tebogo admitted. Until this edition in Budapest, a dozen African runners have competed globally in a 100 m final without ever managing to reach the podium.

The first African to win a silver medal in a major athletics event, Letsile Tebogo dreams of reaching the level of his idol Usain Bolt.

Letsile Tebogo has the potential to get there, even if he looks to be one shot away from Jamaica’s 8th Olympic champion and 11-time world champion. He left Budapest with another highlight, a bronze medal in the 200 metres. He dreams of the great world consecration and the Olympic Games in Africa. And for the young Botswanan, it is time for Africa to hover over the World Sprint. , The time has come for Africa to take over the sprint on the international stage ”, he assures.

The whole of Africa can be proud of this and can dream with it. In any case, all observers see Letsile Tebogo as the future great king of world racing.

Lebeni Kofi, Special Envoy to Budapest

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