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Letsile Tebogo, the new 100m phenomenon, 19 years old and compared to Usain Bolt

The Botswana prodigy broke the U20 world record with a recklessness reminiscent of track giant Usain Bolt, his idol.

His name is Letsile Tebogo, he is only 19 years old and has just won the 100m world record for the under 20s with disconcerting ease and relaxation at the Junior World Championships in Cali, Colombia. The young athlete crushed the final, so much so that twenty meters from the finish, he allowed himself to look at an opponent, Bouwahjgie Nkrumie, future second, to chamber him and point the finger! A performance and a show that inevitably recall a certain Usain Bolt, legend of the slopes.

The African athlete lowered by four hundredths the world record for the under-twenties (9.94) which he set during the qualifying rounds of the Senior World Championships last month, but he clearly could have gone even further quickly again, concentrating on his effort. For comparison, the French record has been in the hands of Jimmy Vicaut in 9”86 since 2015. The world record remains in the hands of Usain Bolt in 9”58, established in 2009.

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If anyone took that as disrespect, I’m so sorry.

Letsile Tebogo

After the race, Letsile Tebogo wanted to come back to his gesture during the 100m, a nod to the Jamaican star. “If anyone took that as disrespect, I’m so sorry. Everyone who was able to watch at home was able to enjoy the race. It was to remind them a bit of what Usain Bolt did back then. He’s my idol, the person I look up to.“La Foudre” also retweeted the performance of the new sprint prodigy.

The native of Kanye, a city in southern Botswana, burst onto the screen last year when he ran the 100m in 10”14 at the age of 18 before being crowned for the first time at the Junior World Championships in Nairobi in 10 ”19 (2nd in 200m in 20”38). African champion in the 200m this year, he continues his insolent progress. At the end of his world record, he even allowed himself to announce that he could have aimed for 9”80 if he had not relaxed his effort: “We have other races to come, we didn’t want to go that far. (…) But this is my year as a junior, we have to leave (the record) here so that the next generation can come and beat it.»


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