- Clocks 9.96 seconds in the 100m to smash the World U20 Record
- Even Usain Bolt was not this fast in the 100m at Tebogo’s age
After the 18-year-old Letsile Tebogo became the first person in Botswana to run the 100m race in under 10 seconds, his coach Dose Mosimanyane has disclosed that he advised the athlete not to consider the 400m race when they started working together.
Tebogo ran away from the rest of the field to win the men’s 100m at the Gaborone International Meet (GIM) in a time of 9.96 seconds last Saturday. The 18-year-old is the second athlete in the history of athletics to break the 10-second barrier in 100m in the Under-20 age class. Even the men’s 100m world record holder (9.58 seconds) Usain Bolt was not this fast in the race when he was Tebogo’s age.
Tebogo’s time of 9.96 seconds also saw him set a couple of records. He smashed the World U20 100m record set by Trayvon Bromell of USA in 2014, set the 100m National Record (NR) and broke the African U20 100m record. Significantly, the time has qualified him for the World Athletics Championships scheduled for Oregon, USA from 15 July to 24 instant where he will get a chance to rub shoulders with the world’s 100m heavyweights.
In the aftermath of Tebogo’s stellar performance in 100m at the GIM, his coach has disclosed that he advised the athlete against running the 400m race when the two started working together. “I knew that with his body structure, people were going to pressure Tebogo to consider the 400m race,” Mosimanyane said in an interview on the sidelines of the GIM.
“I had to sit him down alongside his mother and asked them to give me a chance to see what we could achieve in the 100m race before converting to the 400m race. I am glad that they agreed because we are starting to reap the results of our efforts and my hope is that he will continue doing well.”
Mosimanyane was eager to emphasise that the Kanye-born athlete did not clock 9.96 seconds by mistake, noting that as national team coaches have started to give more attention to short sprints. “We are no longer focused on the 400m race as was the case before,” he said. “We used to do that because we thought diverting athletes to the 400m was the only quick way for them to earn a living out of athletics.
“That is because running 400m presented them a huge opportunity of making it into the national 4x400m relay team which is dominant across the world and usually wins big prize money. But things have now changed and we have started to give other races more attention.”
Meanwhile, after dipping to 9.96 seconds in the 100m, Tebogo told the media that it was not his intention to clock the time in Botswana. “The aim was to run a sub-10 seconds (under 10 seconds) at the World Junior Championships (slated for Columbia in August),” he said. “But it’s okay. The time has come and we accept it and will move forward with it.” He added that that his record time of 9.96 is not going to put him under any pressure going forward because he has been taught how to handle pressure.