Lightning Letsile strikes again

Baitshepi Sekgweng
HISTORY MAKER: Letsile Tebogo

Schoolboy smashes 300m WORLD RECORD (World record in different colour so it stands out)

We already knew it but on Saturday, Letsile Tebogo proved it to the world once again: the Kanye kid is something special.

In just his second competitive outing since picking up a hamstring at the Diamond League Final on 17 September last year, the 20-year-old broke a world record.

Lining up at the Simbine Curro Classic Shootout in South Africa, Pretoria, Letsile became the fastest man in history to run the 300m, flying across the distance with his long legs in just 30.69 seconds.

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In doing so, ‘Schoolboy’ smashed a record that had stood for seven years, set by South African sensation, Wayde van Niekerk, who stopped the clock at 30.81s. Before then, the time to beat was 30.85s, recorded by legendary American, Michael Johnson in 2000.

Lightning Letsile strikes again
HISTORY MAKER: Letsile Tebogo

Both went on to claim multiple Olympic and World gold medals – few would bet against Letsile following suite in Paris later this year.

“It means a lot, more so that it is a world record awaiting ratification by World Athletics. The record now belongs to Motswana!” declared Botswana Athletics Association’s (BAA) proud mouthpiece, Oabona Theetso, who was almost lost for words at the achievement.

Previously the Botswana senior men’s record stood at 31.44, run by Isaac Makwala in Ostrava, Czech Republic in 2017.

At last year’s Simbine Curro Classic Shootout, Letsile came within a tenth-of-second of beating the Tutume titan’s record, finishing first in a time of 31.54. The young gun was not to be denied a second time!

Although the 300m is a rarely run race, and does not feature at big events like the Olympics, World Champs and Commonwealth, Theetso stressed this should not detract from Letsile’s history-making heroics.

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“The reason why races such as 300m and 600m are not common is because they are not qualifiers and as such most athletes and coaches do not value them yet they help in many aspects of running,” he said, adding it is mostly used by athletes to test speed, stamina and resilience.

It was a test Letsile passed with flying colours; bigger tests now lie ahead.

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