Ayanleh Souleiman Earns Athletic Glory For Djibouti

Posted March 11th, 2014 at 3:05 pm (UTC-4)

Ayanleh Souleiman is Djibouti's first gold medalist at a world athletics championship. Photo: Reuters

Ayanleh Souleiman is Djibouti’s first gold medalist at a world athletics championship. Photo: Reuters

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.

Ayanleh Souleiman (R) hugs runner-up Aman Wote of Ethiopia. Photo: Reuters

Ayanleh Souleiman (R) hugs runner-up Aman Wote of Ethiopia. Photo: Reuters

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.



Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

4 Responses to “Ayanleh Souleiman Earns Athletic Glory For Djibouti”

  1. Le peuple djiboutien dans son ensemble te soutiens et te dis Bravo Ayanleh…

  2. segun Adeyemi says:

    Ayanleh is definitely a trail blazer. Haven’t heard much from him till this good profile by Sonny. Africa will be looking up to him for a medal at the 2016 Games in Brazil.

  3. Hundreds of Djiboutians packed Djibouti’s streets wednesday 12, to greet the World Champion Ayanleh Souleiman who won the gold medal of the 1500m in Poland last week (Abdi Bile won the same race 1987 in Roma for Somalia).
    President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelled who received the champion offered him a brand new SUV car. Ayanleh (the lucky guy in somali langage) who’s just 22 arrived on the circuit at age 19.

  4. Great to hear an rising athlete from Djibouti.Souleiman is really set to go for more glories.I wish him the best.Great to read from Mr Sonny Young!

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