Rio 2016 Olympics, Nathaniel Samson, 2016 AAC
Samson had a breakout year, representing Nigeria at the 2015 African Games

Many are called but few are chosen, so Samson Nathaniel is not taking his invitation to the IAAF World Championships for granted, and is hoping to excel at the competition which holds next week at the Oregon Convention Centre.

Nathaniel is one of 17 athletes selected by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to compete in Portland, and will be making his debut at the championships. This is his second international assignment as a senior, having made the team for last year’s African Games, following his impressive performance at the National Trials.

Nathaniel who is listed for the 4x400m, posted 46.20s to finish behind Chidi Okezie in Warri, and then returned a time of 46.24s in the 400m heats in Brazzaville, before clocking a Personal Best (PB) of 45.86s in the semis.

“I’m happy that I made the team and will be competing in the World Indoors; I will be available to run in Portland. My target is to do my best, hoping that it would be enough’, he said.

Nathaniel is in his first year at Central Arizona College in the US and is still trying to adjust to his new environment.

“I have started competing for my school. I ran an indoor race two weeks ago where I clocked 47:3s which is not impressive, due to some challenges. I’m just trying to put myself together and hit a better shape. My new environment is okay.

“I came to the US to combine my academics with a career in sports. I also want to try and make the standard for the Olympics and other competitions ahead. I have been coping well with my program here and collaborating with the coaches to achieve my target”, he said.

Rio 2016 Olympics, Nathaniel Samson, 2016 AAC
Samson had a breakout year, representing Nigeria at the 2015 African Games

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games and IAAF World Championships. She has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and currently hosts a weekly Track and Field column in the Vanguard Newspaper.

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