Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo Becomes First African to Win a Medal in Men’s 100m in Hungary

Letsile Tebogo of Botswana achieved history for the African continent by winning the men’s 100m race, the top event in track and field, in Budapest, Hungary, despite sweltering temperatures.

According to Africa News, Tebogo’s outstanding performance resulted in a personal best time of 9.88 seconds, putting him only five hundredths of a second behind Noah Lyles, a well-known figure in world athletics.

During the press conference, the announcement was received with applause from Lyles and Zharnel Hughes, the British sprinter who finished third on the podium.

The star athlete himself was surprised by his global silver medal, saying, “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.”

Prior to Tebogo’s accomplishment, other competitors, notably Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala, had come near but fell short of a world medal in the men’s 100-meter event on the Hungarian track. South African Akani Simbine, who accomplished this accomplishment three times in 2017, 2019, and 2022, was the most recent athlete to come close.

Tebogo has emerged as a rising talent in international athletics, not only on the African continent. He demonstrated his talent by being a double world junior champion in the 100m and a double runner-up in the 200m in 2021 and 2022.

Tebogo created history at the age of 18 by being only the second runner in history to break the ten-second barrier in the 100m before turning twenty, sharing this honor with Trayvon Bromell. Only a few months later, he surpassed the 20-second barrier in the 200m, confirming his talent and potential in the sport.

Moving forward, the 20-year-old has set his sights on the 200-meter event, hoping to add to his already stellar medal haul.

“I think that after this medal, the continent and the country will think about organizing more races, and big races that people want to see,” Tebogo, who divides his training between Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, South Africa, and Europe throughout the year, said.

He attributed his feat to his absence from social media. “Going off social media was a huge thing to do,” Tebogo, who was raised by a single mother with his younger brother, told the BBC. “It wasn’t easy. I tried my best to stay out of it. Here is the result.”

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