By Rienk de Beer
Africa’s athletics aspirations look to be in safe hands with eight medals already tallied at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.
Of the eight medals secured, none is more special than the silver medal won by Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo.
In a moment of historical significance, the 19-year-old Tebogo etched his name in the annals by securing a silver medal in the men’s 100-meter final. This feat signifies the first instance in which an African athlete has clinched a medal in the 100m event at the World Champs.
Letsile Tebogo from Botswana becomes the First African in World Championship HISTORY to win a medal in the 100m! 🇧🇼🇧🇼🇧🇼🇧🇼🇧🇼#Budapest2023 pic.twitter.com/C9iQm45Eue
— Botswana (@Botswana) August 20, 2023
The race unfolded amidst scorching Hungarian temperatures, and it was the American sprinter Noah Lyles who dominated the track. Lyles, who had boldly pledged to claim the gold medal, astounded with a sensational time of 9.83 seconds. However, Tebogo’s unwavering determination shone through as he clocked his personal best time of 9.88 seconds. This mere margin of five-hundredths of a second separated Tebogo from Lyles, the iconic figure of global athletics.
“I said I was the one!” -Lyles
USA’s Noah Lyles takes the GOLD MEDAL in the Men’s 100m final at the #WorldAthleticsChamps narrowly ahead of Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo. pic.twitter.com/2rgjvx0Lpq
— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) August 20, 2023
Africa’s medal tally leaders and long-distance specialists, Ethiopia, have the second most medals at the meet but occupy third spot due to a lack of gold medals.
Three of Ethiopia’s four medals came in the women’s 10 000m event, completing a clean sweep to secure all three podium places after Gudaf Tsegay dramatically won the title on Saturday night.
Ethiopia sweeps the women’s 10,000m 🔥
Gudaf Tsegay storms to the gold in 31:27.18 after a dramatic final straight in which @SifanHassan crashes.
Letesenbet Gidey and Ejgayehu Taye complete the sweep for 🇪🇹#WorldAthleticsChamps pic.twitter.com/6s90M8xuho
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) August 19, 2023
In the intense 25-lap race’s climax, a sprint finish ensued between Tsegay and defending champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands. In the final moments, they collided, causing Hassan to tumble to the track. Tsegay held her ground, securing victory with a time of 31:27.18.
Tsegay led a trio of Ethiopians. Letsenbet Gidey, the world record-holder, claimed silver in 31:28.16, and Ejgayehu Taye took bronze in 31:28.31.
On Monday, Hugues Fabrice Zango of Burkina Faso achieved a historic milestone, securing his nation’s inaugural gold medal at the World Athletics Championships through a triumphant performance in the triple jump event.
Bronze in Doha.
Silver in Eugene.
Gold in Budapest.
Hugues Fabrice Zango collects #WorldAthleticsChamps triple jump medals like they’re stamps 🙌 pic.twitter.com/ckAoUL9IYd
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) August 21, 2023
Ranked as the second-best globally, Zango leaped an impressive 17.64 meters during his fifth out of six attempts. This jump allowed him to surpass Cuba’s Lazaro Martinez, who secured the silver medal with a distance of 17.41 meters, despite fouling three times in his attempts.
A gold medal also came in the form of Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda, who displayed his prowess by securing his third consecutive gold medal in the World Championship 10,000 meters event, delivering a sensational performance in the final lap. Remarkably, he has participated in only a few 25-lap races in the past three years.
The pride of Uganda 🇺🇬 @joshuacheptege1 does it again and becomes the men’s 10,000m world champion.#WorldAthleticsChamps pic.twitter.com/aJDrNMb2jB
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) August 20, 2023
Despite grappling with injuries this year and not being in his peak condition, Cheptegei, the world record holder for both the 5000m and 10,000m distances, demonstrated his dominance in a hot and humid Budapest evening. As he approached the final lap, he surged ahead to complete the last lap in an impressive 53 seconds. This effort led him to cross the finish line in a time of 27:51.42.
See the Medal table here.