Letsile Tebogo discusses comparisons to American sensation Noah Lyles, explains why he is labled a 'school boy'

Letsile Tebogo discusses comparisons to American sensation Noah Lyles, explains why he is labled a 'school boy'

Mark Kinyanjui 09:52 - 20.04.2024

The 20-year-old has strongly been compared to Noah Lyles since clinching silver at the World Athletics championships in Budapest in 2023.

Botswana sprint wonderkid Letsile Tebogo has addressed comparisons to fellow American compatriot Noah Lyles as he continues his preparations for the Paris Olympic games.

Tebogo claimed silver in the final of the World Athletics Championships in 2023 in Budapest, Hungary, and has since gone on to break more records, including the 300m world record earlier this year.

The 20-yea-old has been tipped as a favorite to give Lyles a run for his money, and will be going toe to toe with Kenya’s very own Ferdinand Omanyala in efforts to raise the African flag high in the category.

Many sprinting greats including Michael Johnson and Justin Gatlin have revealed their excitement about the youngster, and he has now addressed those comparisons.

“I would not say it motivates me in anyway but it just brings too much attention to what you are doing,” Tebogo said ahead of the AbsaKipKeino classic in Nairobi.

“I just turn that off and then focus on the next level. The buzz is always going to be there every time when you compete. They watch and see what you are doing. I block that out and focus on preparations.”

Tebogo has tended to stay off social media in build up to major tournaments like he did last year. Asked about whether he would revert to the same strategy this year, he said:

“I am back for now but I will be gone very soon.”

Despite his remarkable achievements on the track, Tebogo has earned the affectionate nickname "schoolboy." He revealed the origin of this moniker, saying, 

“It came about in 2021 during the world relays in Poland. I was the only young guest there. I was the only one who was attending school back then. Everyone else was a senior."

“Every time they would diss me, telling me I needed to focus on my school work, my homeworks and everything, so that is how the name came about.”