The story of the U20 World Championships, Letsile Tebogo of Botswana, was upset in the men’s 200m final in the closest of margins by Israel’s Blessing Afrifah. Both athletes clocked a U20 championship record of 19.96, but Afrifah had the upper hand dipping Tebogo at the line in a stunning finish.
Tebogo drew attention to himself after running the U20 world record in the 100m final earlier in the week. The internet sketched comparisons to Usain Bolt in Beijing 2008, when Tebogo coasted to victory in the 100m in a record time of 9.91 seconds, pointing at the crowd.
In the 200m final, the young Botswanan’s hopes of the U20 sprint double were dashed by Afrifah.
The 18-year-old Afrifah, who was born in Israel to West African parents, stayed close behind Tebogo coming round the bend and put on a late surge to claim the title by six-one-thousandths of a second in a crazy photo finish.
Letsile Tebogo sets a championship record in 200m with a time of 19.96' in the final but misses Gold Medal 🏅 by six thousandths of a second to Blessing Akawasi Afrifah 🇮🇱 who also clocked 19.96'
See the photo finish below
— DumaFM (@DumaFMRadio) August 4, 2022
“I’m so emotional. I’m out of words,” Afrifah told World Athletics reporters. “For a second, I thought I was second. My first thought was, I’m happy to be second to Tebogo.”
“This has been my dream,” said Afrifah.
Tebogo, 19, was given the same time as Afrifah, which bettered the championship record he ran in the 200m heats and was humble when asked about his run. “I’m more than happy with my run after a busy week of competition,” Tebogo said to World Athletics reporters. “I’m grateful for my performance, and not everybody can run these fast times, four days in a row.”
Team Canada is yet to medal at this year’s U20 championships. Tyler Floyd, a Canadian 400m sprinter who trains in Seattle, Wash., was fourth in the men’s 400m in a personal best time of 46.54 seconds after a runner ahead of him was disqualified.
— Seattle Prep Track (@SeaPrepTrack) August 5, 2022
The 2022 U20 World Championships from Cali, Colombia, will wrap up on Saturday, Aug. 6.