Michael Johnson gives Letsile Tebogo 400m advise after hitting Olympics qualifying time

ATHLETICS Michael Johnson gives Letsile Tebogo 400m advise after hitting Olympics qualifying time

Joel Omotto 16:04 - 23.03.2024

American sprint legend Michael Johnson has told Botswana sensation Letsile Tebogo what to do at the Olympics after he hit the 400m qualifying time for the Paris Games.

American sprint legend Michael Johnson has advised Botswana sensation Letsile Tebogo against signing up for the 400m at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Tebogo hit the Olympic qualifying mark in 400m when he lowered his personal best to post an impressive 44.29 at the ASA Grand Prix in Pretoria, South Africa on Monday.

That has got many wondering if the world 100m silver and 200m bronze medallist will add the 400m onto his Olympics programme but Johnson, a two-time Olympic champion and record holder over the 400m, feels it would be a bad idea to do that this year.

“100/200 or 200/400 double? Already a 100/200 world champs medalist, may be foolish to switch in an Olympic year,” Johnson posted on X.

While Johnson recognises that the men’s 400m is not as strong now, he thinks 20-year-old Tebogo still has plenty of time to hone his skills over the distance before he makes a competitive attempt.

“Men’s 400 a bit weak recently but his training must change to run even low 44 in a final after rounds. At only 20, plenty of time to move to 400. 100/200 for Paris,” added Johnson, while advising Tebogo to stick to 100m and 200m at the Paris Olympics.

Johnson’s sentiments come days after reports in Botswana also suggested Tebogo does not intend to compete in 400m at the Paris Olympics and was just using the race to test his endurance.

Tebogo has been in fine form, smashing the 300m world record by running 30.69 in Pretoria in February, before the 44.29 in 400m in the same South African city this week.

"My plan is to rest for a week or two. My performance [on Monday] shows that the speed is there,” said Tebogo after Monday’s race.

“Everything is going according to plan. I want to compete in Diamond League Meets so that I get used to other top athletes. That will also assist me to be confident when I meet them at the Olympics.”

World champion Noah Lyles is seen as the favourite to claim gold in both 100m and 200m at the Olympics but 20-year-old Tebogo is among a host of rivals set to give him a run for his money, with the Botswanan not a pushover given his remarkable form and consistency.

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