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Athletics: young Tebogo says African sprinters will dominate the season

The Botswanan Letsile Tebogo, world vice-champion in the 100m in 2023, is convinced: African sprinters will dominate the season on the athletics tracks, with the Paris Olympic Games as the highlight.

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Athletics: young Tebogo says African sprinters will dominate the season

The Botswanan Letsile Tebogo, world vice-champion in the 100m in 2023, is convinced: African sprinters will dominate the season on the athletics tracks, with the Paris Olympic Games as the highlight.

“I firmly believe that it is an African year, because when you look at (Kenyan) Ferdy (Omanyala), (South African) Akani (Simbine) and myself, we are here to reach a milestone,” assured Tebogo on Thursday during a press point in Nairobi, where he will line up on Saturday in the 200m at the Kip Keino Classic, a meeting of the second level continental circuit of the International Federation.

“Omanyala is the fastest man in Africa over 100m and I am the fastest over 200m,” he recalled. The Kenyan has in fact held the continental record on the straight line (9.77) since 2021, and he himself has the best time on the half lap of the track (19.50), established last year.

The 20-year-old athlete, who distinguished himself by setting a new world record in the 300 meters (30.69) in Pretoria in February, also became the first African to win a 100m medal at the Championships last year. of the world, beaten by the American Noah Lyles. It was in Budapest, where he added a bronze medal in the 200m to his list of achievements.

The domination of the United States in the world men's sprint is evident, since the retirement of Jamaican legend Usain Bolt in 2017, since they have gleaned the six gold medals at stake at the various World Championships, in the 100 m and 200 m men. Only the Italian Marcel Jacobs created a surprise by becoming Olympic champion on the straight in Tokyo in 2021.

Ferdy Omanyala must start the 100m at the Kip Keino Classic, somewhat in the unknown. “This season I changed coaches and now I start the season with a different mentality. I haven't run this distance in eight months. I don’t know how it’s going to happen,” he warned.

The African sprint is not limited to men, the 20-year-old Namibian Christine Mboma, Olympic vice-champion in the 200m in Tokyo in 2021, constitutes even more surely a hope of a medal in Paris for this continent.

She will also make her return to competition, in the 100m, after an absence of twenty months. An athlete with differences in sexual development (DSD), she had to undergo treatment to lower her testosterone levels, in accordance with the regulations amended by World Athletics in 2023, concerning hyper-androgenic athletes.

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