Botswana sprinter Letsile Tebogo set a new world record with 9.91 seconds© Twitter
Considered by many to be the possible heir to legendary Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, Botswana sprinter Letsile Tebogo recently retained his U20 World Championship title in Cali, Colombia. He set a new world record by clocking 9.91 seconds, three hundredths of a second from his own record at the recent World Championships in Eugene (9.94) where he reached the semifinals. Aside from his comparisons to Boult based on performance, his antics on the track are also reminiscent of the eight-time Olympic gold medalist.
During the 100m sprint race at the U20 World Championship, Tebogo was seen teasing his opponents before even crossing the line.
— UKTN (@WorldAthletics) August 2, 2022
His gesture was similar to Boult’s at the 2016 Rio Olympics, when he looked back to stare at Andre De Grasse.
However, Tebogo was quick to clear his stance after being asked about the celebration.
“The explanation was to come out and enjoy the race,” he said. “If anyone took it as disrespectful then I’m really sorry. I saw the fans and (it was) everyone watching at home can enjoy the race – to remind them a little bit of what Usain Bolt used to do. He is my idol – the person I look up to.”
When asked about Boult, Tebogo replied, “It would be a great pleasure to meet him”.
“I saw that they were afraid of me, but I was also afraid of them,” he said. “When the gun went off I had to make sure I got the best start of my life and it was the best start of my life. I didn’t plan the celebration but as soon as I took my first step I knew the title was mine. I wasn’t worried about the time. I wasn’t looking.”
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