A world record has been broken at the World Athletics U20 Championships as Letsile Tebogo ran the 100m event in 9.91 seconds, which has caught the attention of a legendary sprinter.
The 19-year-old impressed the world as the young sprinter recorded an impressive time and smashed his own record in the process, so much so fans have looked for comparisons with the greatest to ever lace up a pair of spikes.
The Botswana international has been dubbed ‘the next Usain Bolt’ for his mesmerising athleticism, first and foremost, of course, but also for his mid-race theatrics.
After a blistering start out of the blocks, Tebogo left his rivals in the dust with his long, fluid stride eating up the blue track ahead of him at a pace no U20 athlete – not even Bolt himself – has ever run.
With around 30 metres to go in the race, Tebogo began his celebrations as he raised his right hand and began to wag a finger at his nearest rival in Jamaica’s Bouwahjgie Nkrumie – smiling across from him – all the way to the finish line.
Seems like the youngster has the photo finish nailed down like the legendary Jamaican in Bolt don’t you think?
Given the mid-race antics, it can be suggested that it would be nigh on impossible to break his own record of 9.94 at the recent World Championships in Oregon, but he managed to do so in style.
He crossed the line way ahead of Nkrumie in second place (10.02) and South Africa’s Benjamin Richardson (10.12), while Thailand’s Puripol Bonsoon (10.12) missed out a medal by a thousandth of a second in fourth place.
The first question posed to Tebogo after the race’s completion: why the celebration?
“The statement was to come out and enjoy the race,” he said. “If somebody took it as disrespect, I’m really sorry.
“I saw the fans and (it was so) everybody watching at home can enjoy the race – to remind them a little bit about what Usain Bolt did back in the days.
“He’s my idol – the person I look up to.”
Bolt was quick to show his praise for the young man on Twitter after the race, but also gave him his seal of approval under a video posted of the record-breaking moment on the official Instagram account.
His comment to indicate such an endorsement? Three lightning bolt emojis from one speedster to another.
He wasn’t the only one enjoying the sprint, though, as plenty of plaudits flooded the comment section!
While Bolt’s career has come to an end, Tebogo’s one of many young and talented sprinters to come out of Botswana in recent years and his career is just getting started.
Remember the name and watch this space!