Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images for World Athletics.
Botswanan Sprinter Letsile Tebogo Makes History with Silver at World Athletics Championships
Botswanan sprinter Letsile Tebogo sets record as first African to win a medal at World Athletics Championships, eying more glory in the 200m, and promising a bright future in athletics.
In a historic moment for African athletics, Letsile Tebogo, a 19-year-old sprinter from Botswana, secured a silver medal in the men's 100-meter final at the World Athletics Championships. Tebogo's achievement marks the first time an African athlete has clinched a medal in this event.
The remarkable race, held in sweltering Hungarian heat, was dominated by American sprinter Noah Lyles, who had boldly promised a gold medal and delivered a sensational time of 9.83 seconds. Tebogo, with a personal best time of 9.88 seconds, showcased his immense talent and determination, coming in just five-hundredths of a second behind Lyles, the face of world athletics.
The significance of Tebogo's achievement was evident when it was announced at the post-race press conference, receiving applause from both Lyles and the third-place sprinter, Britain's Zharnel Hughes.
Notably, Tebogo's accomplishment sets him apart from several others who had attempted to break the 100-meter barrier at the World Athletics Championships but fell short. The last athlete to come close was South Africa's Akani Simbine, who achieved this feat three times in 2017, 2019, and 2022.
Tebogo has been a rising star in world athletics, holding the title of double world junior champion in the 100 meters and double runner-up in the 200 meters in 2021 and 2022. His silver medal at the World Athletics Championships is the culmination of a phenomenal season for the young athlete, who also boasts the African record in the 200-meter race, set during the 2023 London Diamond League last month.
Looking ahead, Tebogo, now only 20 years old, has set his sights on the 200 meters in the ongoing nine-day event in Hungary, where he aims to add another medal to his collection. With his youth and potential, Tebogo is poised to break numerous records as he reaches his prime.
Notably, Tebogo made history last year at the age of 18 by becoming only the second runner in history, alongside Bromell, to break the ten-second barrier in the 100-meter race before turning twenty. Shortly after, he shattered the 20-second barrier in the 200-meter race.
Reflecting on his silver medal, Tebogo expressed his pride, stating, "I'm really proud to win this silver medal. This medal is a bonus for me. That wasn't the plan, the objective, it was just the final." His performance at the World Athletics Championships solidifies his status as a rising star in global track and field.