Botswana sprinter predicts African domination in Olympics

Botswana’s 100m world silver medallist Letsile Tebogo said Thursday he believes 2024 will be the year African sprinters step up to dominate a track season that culminates in the Paris Olympics.

The 20-year-old has already made a sparkling start to the season with a world record performance in the men’s 300 metres in South Africa in February.

Tebogo is set to compete on Saturday in the 200m at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi, part of the World Athletics Continental Tour, the competition a tier below the Diamond League.

“I strongly believe this is an African year becaus e when you look at Ferdy (Omanyala of Kenya) and Akani (Simbine of South Africa) and myself, we are there to leap over,” he told reporters.

In Budapest last year, Tebogo became the first African to win a 100m medal at the World Championships and also added the 200m bronze to his collection.

Omanyala only finished seventh in that world 100m final but holds the African record of 9.77sec.

“Omanyala is the fastest man in Africa in the 100 and I am the fastest in the 200,” Tebogo said.

The Botswana sprinter said he was happy to return to Kenya where he started his career at the Under-20 world championships in 2021, winning the 200m silver medal behind Nigeria’s Udodi Onwuzurike.

Tebogo will face American Courtney Lindsey who ran a world-leading 19.88sec in Florida last Friday. 

Omanyala will be competing in his first 100m of the year.

“This season I changed my coaches and now I am starting the season with a different mentality. I haven’t done the 100m for eight months,” said the 28-year-old. 

“I don’t how this one is going to be but we’ll see,” said Omanyala, who has reduced his heavily-muscled frame to become a leaner athlete.

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