Photos: YouTube Screenshots\Wikimedia Commons
At the age of 20, Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo gave the African continent its first-ever world medal in the men’s 100 m, track and field’s premier race, on Sunday in Budapest.
In the sweltering Hungarian heat, at the end of the home straight, Tebogo’s personal best time of 9 sec 88 was only beaten by Noah Lyles, the face of world athletics, by five hundredths.
The achievement was significant enough that when it was announced at the press conference, it was greeted by applause from Lyles and the third sprinter on the podium, Britain’s Zharnel Hughes.
Before him, a dozen or so, including Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala in the final on the Hungarian track, had broken their teeth. The last to do so before the 2023 edition was South Africa’s Akani Simbine, on three occasions in 2017, 2019 and 2022.
Tebogo has become a promise for world athletics beyond the African continent, becoming double world junior champion in the 100 m and double runner-up in the 200 m in 2021 and 2022.