Tebogo Ndori face world best
25 May 2023
Letsile Tebogo will on Sunday face the world’s greatest at the Meeting International Mohammed VI in Rabat, Morocco.
Tebogo will be against 100 metres best; World Champion Fred Kerly, Olympics Champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs, 2018 Commonwealth Champion Akani Simbine, 2022 Diamond League overall winner Travon Bromell, 2022 Commonwealth Champion Ferdinand Omanyala and 2011 World Champion Yohan Blake as well as 200 metres Olympic champion, Andre De Grasse.
Some athletics pundits say the line-up can be described as a foretaste for Budapest 23 World Athletics championships final.
Sunday’s race is what athletics fanatics have long been waiting for, while or Tebogo it will be the biggest test to see how he measures up against the best in the World.
Many are still wondering if Lamont’s heroics in Italy at the past Olympics was a once off thing or if he is the real deal. Kerly and Lamont have for a while, been trading verbal jibes and the world will finally get to see them in action. While they are by far the main headliners, this race will not just be about them as the world may be in for a surprise here.
Sunday Standard sports editor, Botlhale Koothopile said Bromell and Omanyala were duly considered the duo’s greatest threat. He said ahead of Oregon World Athletics championships, Bromell ran the world leading times, but failed when it came to the championships, only to sparkle thereafter.
According to Koothopile this would be his time to show whether he has the nerve to beat the best, adding that one hopes this one would be kind on Omanyala, given that he faced problems ahead of the last world championships and arrived late. Koothopile said while Omanyala did his best and competed, one wonders whether he was in the best frame of mind. “This race will be one where he may banish the demons of Oregon. We will finally get to see how he may have performed had he not encountered travelling problems, which made his participation at the games difficult,” he said.
Koothopile said Simbine would be the dark horse, adding he was one of Africa’s best sprinters, alongside Omanyala.
“In short, this will be Tebogo’s coming of age race. Almost all the athletes in the line-up have impressive resumes, while Tebogo is an upcoming athlete and perhaps the biggest prospect,” he said. Koothopile said an impressive performance by him will make the world stand up notice.
He said he fancies Tebogo to do very well for the first time against seniors, as that would prepare him for the world championships, which is currently the main focus. “If he does well in this meet, then one can confidently say, Tebogo will be ready to cause upsets at Budapest,” he said.
Tebogo’s coach, Kebonyemodisa Mosimanyane said they had been preparing very well, albeit for the whole season, not only for the Sunday meet. He said Tebogo would approach the race as it comes, with no pressure given that he was still new in the senior category. He however, pleaded with Batswana to give the athlete ample time as he has just graduated from the junior to the senior category.
Mosimanyane said he had talked to the athlete to take it easy in his first year as a senior.
Mosimanyane said there was a time when Justin Gatlin and Usain Bolt dominated the sprints while athletes such as Yohane Blake, Akani Simbine and Christian Coleman were regarded as upcoming athletes. “But the upcoming athletes remained patient, as they prepared themselves, age was on their side, and here they are, now dominating, Bolt and Gatlin have retired,” he said.
Mosimanyane said Tebogo was young, and had time to be developed properly, without short cuts. “One mistake we can commit is to put him in a gym room to quickly to develop his muscles. Naturally he is going to grow stronger and as he grow stronger with good technique, and mentally strong, the more he grows, the more he gets stronger he would at the same time improve his times,” he said.
The coach said they are just going to keep enhancing some areas, work on his strength, adding that when Tebogo start going for medals, trophies and top three he must be mentally and physically ready.
“We should not rush Tebogo just because he is talented, and the fact that he also competed with the seniors before his age-mates should not deceive us, and expect him to quickly beat the big boys,” he said.
Furthermore, Mosimanyane said expectation was that Tebogo would take one step at a time, adding that during the World Athletics Championships held in Oregon in 2022, he finished on position seven in the semi-finals with a time of 10.17.
He said during his Prefontaine Classic Eugene Diamond League last year, he finished on position five with a time of 10.12.
“So in the next coming World Championships we expect him to finish in the finals, and as the time progress he will slowly eliminate one of the big guns, sometime closing a gap between them, he still running sub 10, but again if you look at his competitors this season they are superior than him in terms of Personal Best time,” he said.
Mosimanyane said what Tebogo need to be consistent on his 9.9 time and gradually move to 9.8 and then that is when they will start the hunt for faster times as his career progresses.
“But that will not happen in one year, this is his first year in the senior category, and for him to be able to have a long career is to approach things gradually and his progression must be smooth and in order, without skipping any stage,” he said
Meanwhile, Bayapo Ndori will make his Diamond League debut. He will be competing in the 400 metres event against Moroccan Hamza Dair, Stephen Gardinier of Bahamas, Matthew Hudson Smith of Great Britain, Jamaican Rusheen McDonald, South African Zakithi Nene, Vernon Norwood of USA and Swiss sprinter, Ricky Petrucciani. ENDS
Source : BOPA
Author : Anastacia Sibanda
Location : GABORONE
Event : INTERVIEW
Date : 25 May 2023