Ayanleh Souleiman says he started running in 2008 after watching the Beijing Olympics on television.
Now 21-years-old, the athlete from the small Horn of Africa country Djibouti appears ready to run for a medal in 2016 when he makes his Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Souleiman was hoping to compete at the 2012 London Olympics, but he missed the competition because of a leg injury.
At the recent world indoor championships in Poland, he turned in a dominant performance in the men’s 1500 meters final, leading from almost start to finish.
After crossing the finish line, Souleiman quickly congratulated runner-up Aman Wote of Ethiopia, and then he listened to the Djibouti national anthem, played at an athletics stadium for the first time at a world championship.
At the 2013 world outdoor championships in Moscow, Souleiman won a bronze medal at the shorter 800 meter distance.
His gold medal in Poland was applauded by international track commentators, who say it could be a sign of even greater Olympic glory to come for Souleiman and Djibouti.