Kenya: Why Botswana Speedster Tebogo Opted Out of Omanyala Showdown At Kip Keino Classic

Nairobi — World 100m silver medalist Letsile Tebogo says this weekend's Kip Keino Classic was not the right time for him to compete in the men's 100m.

The Botswana speedster said the season has just started, adding that there will be opportunities for him to run in the race in the lead-up to the Paris Olympics.

"The season is too is still too early to engage in the 100m that's why we opted for the 200metres. Last time I competed here in the 200m was in 2021 and now we are here to do it again," the youngster said.

Had he opted to run in the men's 100m, the world under 20 100m champion would have been part of a three-way battle also featuring Commonwealth Games 100m champion - and home crowd favourite - Ferdinand Omanyala as well as Olympics 200m silver medalist Kenneth Bednarek.

However, Tebogo will be lining up for the men's 200m where he will come up against an equally elite competitors including the 2022 World Relay 4x100m champion Brendon Rodney of Canada, African Games 200m silver medalist Claude Emmanuel Itoungue of Cameroon, the 2018 Commonwealth Games 100m silver medalist Henricho Bruintjies of South Africa as well as the United States pair of Courtney Lindsey and Corian Camel.

The world 200m bronze medalist reveals he does not have any targets for Saturday's one-day meet.

"We don't have a target yet...I don't know what the others have been doing behind the scenes but we will put up a great show on Saturday," he said.

Nairobi holds a special place in the youngster's heart considering it was at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani where he won his first career medal -- gold in the men's 100m at the World Under 20 Championships in 2021.

He also clinched silver in the men's 200m at the same competition.

Tebogo went on to defend his world title at the next edition in Cali, Colombia in 2022 where he clocked a world under 20 record of 9.88.

Despite his rapid rise to the top of the sprints world, Tebogo is quick to brush it all away, insisting that the future is more important.

"We don't want to focus on the past because if we do that, we will never be able to progress to the future. The silver medals may seem like I am a favourite going into Saturday but we are trying a new strategy," he said.

Tebogo arrived in the country at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), accompanied by his coach Kebonyemodisa Dose Mosimanyane.

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