It is not the first time that the prophecy has been heard, stating that Usain Bolt‘s heir has been found. The presence of a new athlete capable of becoming the king of speed and dominating the tartan is always hoped for.
Now, a new name has emerged as the potential successor.
Botswanan sprinter Letsile Tebogo has just retained his U20 World Championship title in Cali. He set a new world record by clocking 9.91 seconds, three hundredths of a second off his own record set at the recent World Championships in Eugene (9.94), where he reached the semi-finals.
The comparison with Bolt goes beyond his performances. His gestures on the track are reminiscent of the Jamaican.
The sufficiency with which he runs allows Tebogo to tease his rivals. In the semi-finals, he stared at the South African Benjamin Richardson while running.
The image did not go unnoticed. Many remembered the one of Bolt and Andre De Grasse in the Olympic semi-final in Rio. World Athletics immediately posted both pictures on their social media.
Then, in the final, he got off to a strong start and immediately left his rivals behind. He allowed himself the luxury of running the last 30 metres with his sights set on the Jamaican Bouwahjgie Nkrumie, whom he was pointing the finger at.
He still finished in 9.91 (+0.8 wind), the photo-finish immortalising Nkrumie’s gesture. Once the race was over, Tebogo wanted to clarify his gestures.
“The statement was to come out and enjoy the race,” Tebogo told the World Athletics website.
“I saw they were scared of me, but I was also scared of them.
“When the gun went off I had to make sure I made the best start of my life and it was the best start of my life.
“I didn’t plan [the celebration] but as soon as my first step I knew the title was mine. I didn’t worry about the time. I didn’t look.
“If somebody took it as disrespect, I’m really sorry. I saw the fans and everybody watching at home can enjoy the race. To remind them a little bit about what Usain Bolt did back in the days. He’s my idol. The person I look up to.”