Rising star Letsile Tebogo's assessment of stellar debut season punctuated by setbacks


ATHLETICS: Rising star Letsile Tebogo's assessment of stellar debut season punctuated by setbacks

Festus Chuma 12:00 - 26.09.2023

Botswana's sprinter, Letsile Tebogo, overcame injuries during his debut 2023 season, securing Olympic qualifications and two World Championships medals.

Botswana’s sprint sensation, Letsile Tebogo, has opened up about the physical and emotional hurdles he faced during his debut season in 2023.

Despite setbacks, including injuries on both legs in major championships, Tebogo has showcased resilience and talent that have marked him as one to watch in the coming years.

Speaking after returning to Gaborone a week after a challenging Diamond League 100m final in Eugene, Oregon, where he finished eighth with a time of 10.61, Tebogo explained the unexpected turn of events. 

"In Budapest, I took a knock to my left leg. Then, in the Diamond League final, it happened to the other leg. I wasn't prepared for something like that,” he said.

Witnesses at the Diamond League noted Tebogo's evident discomfort, prompting speculations about a recurrence of his injury from the World Championships 200m final. 

However, his coach, Kebonyemodisa Mosimanyane, cleared the air during an interview with Botswana national television.

“When he kicked off the block, he immediately felt something was amiss with his left leg,” Mosimanyane stated, emphasizing that this was a separate injury from the one in Budapest. 

“It is not the same muscle. In Budapest, it occurred on the right leg, but this time it happened on the left leg,” he added.

“I’m pleased that Tebogo knows his body well, which is commendable for an athlete of his age. It might be minor, but it's essential not to risk further complications. Sports isn’t only about the victories; we have to navigate the challenges as well.”

Mosimanyane further added that the season had its highlights, with Tebogo recording personal bests in the 100m, 200m, 300m, and 400m. 

The prodigious sprinter also qualified for the Olympics in three events and clinched two medals at the World Championships. All these feats were achieved in his first year competing as a senior.

Reflecting on these accomplishments, the proud coach said, “Achieving all this on his first season as a senior is monumental. We are heading back to Botswana with heads held high, and after an off-season rest of six to eight weeks, we’ll kick-start our preparation for the Paris Olympics.”

As the global track and field community awaits the 2024 season, the Wanda Diamond League series promises to be more competitive than ever. 

Spanning 15 of the most elite one-day meetings, athletes will chase points across 14 series meets. The most successful athletes in each discipline will secure a spot in the Wanda Diamond League Final, wrapping up the season.

Commencing with back-to-back meets in China – Xiamen on April 29 and Shanghai on April 27 – the athletic fraternity is eager to see if Tebogo will overcome his injuries and return even stronger.