Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Wonder boy Tebogo Letsile sprints to new national record

Emerging local sprinter Tebogo Letsile is becoming one to reckon with in the track arena. 

The lanky sprinter is already lighting up the local track athletics scene with some astonishing performances that have set tongues wagging. 

While not yet a complete package, so enchanting has been his performances that locals have found it difficult not to compare him to sprint great Usain Bolt.

This past weekend, the 17-year-old sprinter lived to that billing as one to look for in the future as he set Botswana’s new National Record (NR) in 100m sprints.

Letsile clocked an impressive 10.14 seconds in the race during an event organized by the Sport View Runners Club at the national stadium.

Aside from shedding an impressive .06 seconds from the 10.20 seconds national record set by Isaac Makwala, Letsile’s time ranks among the best youth times ever clocked. 

The 10.14 seconds recorded is also the best recorded time in the 2021 World athletics season toppling Nigeria’s Enoch Adegoke who clocked 10.16 seconds on the 30th January 2021 in Nigeria.

The teenager’s incredible record also surpassed the USA 10.15 seconds 100m under 18 record held by Anthony Swartz since 31st March 2017 at the Florida relays held in Gainesville, USA. 

Despite missing out the Olympics qualifying standards in the Gaborone meet, Letsile qualified for the World Athletics under 20 championships slated for Nairobi, Kenya from the 17th – 22nd August 2021.

Following a long spell off season due to the novel covid 19, Letsile proved his mettle with a time even closer to the African youth record that was set two decades ago by former Nigerian sprinter Davidson Ezinwa. The Nigerian clocked 10.05 seconds aged 18 in 1990. 

Former Olympics 800m finalist, Glody Dube said Letsile is a complete athlete with a track record from grassroots.

“The boy is very talented and is set for great fortunes ahead. I have seen the boy from his early days during primary school and realized when we went to Namibia that he will be among the crème de la crème athletes to have been produced in the country. He has the legs and power of a sprinter and his age favors him a lot to take on the world,” said Dube.

He said it is now upon all close to the sprinter to guide him to realize his dreams. “It is very critical that we guide the boy to achieve more even in the international stage. The local athletics association, his parents and the community at large needs to keep a close eye on him. He needs our support both emotionally and financially to achieve more,” said Dube.

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