In the sweltering Hungarian heat, at the end of the home straight, Tebogo’s personal best time of 9 sec 88 was only beaten by Noah Lyles, the face of world athletics, by five hundredths.
The achievement was significant enough that when it was announced at the press conference, it was greeted by applause from Lyles and the third sprinter on the podium, Britain’s Zharnel Hughes.
Before him, a dozen or so, including Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala in the final on the Hungarian track, had broken their teeth. The last to do so before the 2023 edition was South Africa’s Akani Simbine, on three occasions in 2017, 2019 and 2022.
Tebogo has become a promise for world athletics beyond the African continent, becoming double world junior champion in the 100 m and double runner-up in the 200 m in 2021 and 2022.
Last year, when he was still 18, he became only the second runner in history to break the ten-second barrier in the 100 m before the age of twenty (with Bromell). A few months later, he broke the 20-second barrier in the 200 m.
Nevertheless, his world silver medal exceeded his own expectations. “I’m really proud to win this silver medal. This medal is a bonus for me. That wasn’t the plan, the objective, it was just the final,” admits Tebogo