Tshenolo Lemao (second from left) wins the gold medal in the 100m at the Under-18 world championships in Nairobi on Wednesday. Photo: @iaaforg via Twitter
Tshenolo Lemao (second from left) wins the gold medal in the 100m at the Under-18 world championships in Nairobi on Wednesday. Photo: @iaaforg via Twitter

We’ve had Wayde van Niekerk and Caster Semenya winning Olympic and world championship gold medals.

Akani Simbine also reached the 100m final at the Rio Olympics last year.

But never before has a South African won a gold medal in any 100m race across the different age-groups in the world championships.

That all changed on Wednesday in Nairobi, though, when Tshenolo Lemao produced a superb effort to take top spot in the IAAF Under-18 World Championships.

The 17-year-old Lemao, who attends the TuksSport High School in Pretoria, won the 100m final wet conditions in 10.57, ahead of another South African in Retshidisitswe Mlenga, who took the silver in 10.61.

Jamaica’s Tyreke Wilson finished third in 10.65.

It was an upset of some sorts by Lemao – whose personal best is 10.42 – as Mlenga won the semi-final in a new personal best of 10.37.


“It was a great race to run. I was really excited going into it and I just wanted to go all out,” Lemao told the IAAF website.

“I knew the conditions would be tough, but I told myself I needed to stay strong and focused, and just go.”


IOL Sport

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