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How change of shoes helped youngster Letsile Tebogo smash world record

Letsile Tebogo ran faster than Michael Johnson and Usain Bolt to set a new world 300m record but that would perhaps not have happened had he not changed his running shoes.

Botswana sprint sensation Letsile Tebogo is currently basking in the glory of his new world record after lowering the 300m mark last weekend.

Tebogo smashed the world 300m record following an incredible run at the Simbine Curro Classic in South Africa, running 30.71, to beat South African Wayde van Niekerk's mark of 30.81 set in Ostrava, Czech Republic in 2017.

In what was a world lead and his personal best over the distance, the 20-year-old obliterated the field to take a giant lead, leaving a big gape between him and the chasing pack as he sprinted to the finish line.

It has now emerged that things would have perhaps been different had he not opted for a change of shoes, having decided to ditch his trainers for spikes ahead of the race.

Since sustaining an injury that locked him out of the Zurich Diamond League 200m finals, Tebogo has not used spikes and wore trainers in his season-opening race in January, but his coach Dose Mosimanyane advised him to use spikes in last Saturday’s race in Pretoria only to yield a world record.

“The world record was not in the plan. But I am not surprised. With his training partner, Bayapo Ndori and other athletes in the mix, I knew he would do something but this is not what we came here for,” Mosimanyane said.

The world 100m silver medallist did not just break the seven-year world record but his time was faster than that of American great Michael Johnson, who clocked 30.85 at the same venue in 2000, and Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt, who timed 30.97 in 2010.

The world 200m bronze medallist had an impressive 2023 season when he became the first African to win a medal at the World Championships in 100m and also the first from his country to achieve such a feat.

He is hoping to go one better this during the Paris 2024 Games in France where he is seeking to make history by winning his country’s first ever Olympics gold.

(02/21/2024) Views: 375 ⚡AMP
by Joel Omotto

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