- Wing-footed Letsile Tebogo beats own PB in Italy in offbeat distance
- Ranked world’s 5th so far, Bayapo Ndori equals his PB of 44.61s in the 400m in Poland
- Both have their sights trained on Budapest’ 23
Botswana’s World Athletics Championships medal prospects, Letsile Tebogo and Bayapo Ndori, have continued their fine form at international events ahead of the highly-anticipated World Championships that is slated for Budapest, Hungary next month.
Wing-footed sprinter Tebogo powered to a new Personal Best (PB) of 44.75s in the 400m at the Meeting Internazionale Sport Solidarieta in Italy last week, beating his own previous PB of 46.09s that he clocked in Francistown early this year.
This was deemed extraordinary because he was just giving it a shot in unfamiliar territory, unlike his usual short distance field of the 100m and the 200m races.
He himself said as much in post-race interview, speaking of how he was “surprised” by his performance because he had only intended to test his stamina over a longer distance in order to improve his speed prior to the World Championships.
“I agreed with my coach that I needed to test my character in a different area,” said the lightning lad. “My intension was merely to improve my stamina and test my fitness, and there I was powering to a new PB. It made us both happy.
“It is important for me to go out of my comfort zone and do my best sometimes because I have a mountain to climb next month. I am happy with my progress and am continuing with my diamond league quest as the next stage to prepare for the World Championships.”
Next is Monaco
Tebogo is set to compete in the Monaco Diamond League in France on 23 July where he will face tough competition from his close rivals from Africa, Akani Simbine and Ferdinand Omanyala, who are also preparing for Budapest ’23.
Ndori too had the best time of his life at the recent Silesia Diamond League in Poland where he clocked 44.61s, equaling his current PB in the 400m. He finished second behind South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk, who clocked 44.08 to win the race.
This was Ndori’s 5th Diamond League this year, and he is ranked number five so far with six meets to go. He has already qualified for the World Championships where his sole aim is to do well, according to what he said in an interview with Gazette Sports.
Intentions as clear as day
“I am using these meets to prepare for the ultimate event, which is the World Championships in which I’ll be making my second appearance after my debut in the 2022 edition where I did well and made it to the finals.
“I know it is not going to be easy but my intentions are clear: to do better than last year so that I may start my quest for the Olympics on a high note.”
Ndori, Tebogo, Leungo Scotch and Collen Kibinatshipi are the only individuals who have so far qualified for the World Championships while Zibani Ngozi, Isaac Makwala and Baboloki Thebe are all currently abroad and have yet to.