Tebogo bags Botswana’s first ever continental 200m title

World under 20 200m champion and newly crowned 200m African champion Letsile Tebogo not only bagged a 200m gold medal at the 2022 African Senior Athletics Championship, he also created a new record in Botswana athletics by grabbing the country’s first ever 200m African title.

Tebogo cruised to finish first in the final with a time of 20.26. He finished ahead of Cameroon’s Emmanuel Eseme (20.61) and South Africa’s Clarence Munyai (20.69). The triumph yielded Tebogo’s first senior title.

In the past veteran sprinters such as Justice Dipeba, Fanuel Kenosi and Isaac Makwala had come close to securing a gold medal for Botswana in the 200m category in the African championship.

Dipeba was the first Motswana to record a podium finish in the 200m category when he won a bronze medal in the 1996 African championship held in Yaounde, Cameroon. Dipeba clocked a time of 20.90 at the time.

Kenosi followed suit in 2008 as he finished third to earn a bronze medal in the 2008 edition in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with a then national record of 20.72. Makwala went a step further than his predecessors as he grabbed a silver medal in the 2014 African championship in Marrakech, Morocco with a time of 20.51.

Tebogo has now eclipsed his predecessors in the 200m category, he is also the fastest ever Motswana in the competition’s history with his 20.26 record. Overall Botswana managed to obtain seven medals in the competition, they collected four gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal.

Thalosang Tshireletso won a gold medal in the high jump discipline. The mixed 4x400m team (made up of Christine Botlogetswe, Motlatsi Rante, Maitseo Keitumetse and Collen Kebinatshipi) also walked away with a gold medal. The men’s 4x400m team (which consists of Leungo Scotch, Bayapo Ndori, Anthony Pesela and Kebinatshipi) also grabbed a gold medal.

Tshireletso also grabbed a silver medal in the triple jump category while Ndori earned a silver medal in the 400m final. Botswana’s sole bronze medal recipient was Tshepiso Masalela who finished third in the 800m final. In total, Botswana has now amassed 32 medals in the competition’s 43 year-old history. Botswana is ranked 13th in the competition’s all time medal haul rankings.