12 March 2008
Southwark's very own Samson Oni took a step closer to competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, after a stunning high jump performance at the Norwich Union World Indoor Trials and UK Championships in Sheffield, February 2008.
Oni achieved a jump height of 2.30 metres, placing him in the number one spot and setting the stadium record for high jump. This jump assured his place for the Olympic trails in July and his current sporting form should see him well on the way to Beijing.
When he is not training twice a day, Oni shares his sport abilities with 600 children, aged 8 to 16, each week in his job at Southwark Council. He inspires young people to get more involved in sport and Southwark's Community Games.
Oni, one of 21 English athletes who achieved selection for Sheffield, said about his achievement "It's pure dedication, good organisation and a few sacrifices. I love my job and I love being an athlete. When I was growing up, I never had anybody in the vicinity to look up to. My heroes were mostly Americans on the TV. It can be more realistic if you have people you know."
With only six months to go, Oni continues to work and train hard until August when he hopes to leave for Beijing.
Oni commented on moving closer to the Olympics, "just to be there and take part in the tournament and to represent my country will be such a proud moment, of course I am looking to perform well but I guess that will be determined by my training in the next five and a bit months."
"I have so many admirers and people who look up to me here in Southwark, I just hope I can motivate them into thinking they can achieve what I have."
The top three for High jump ranked 1 Samson Oni (Belgrave Harriers) 2.30 2 Tom Parsons (Birchfield Harriers) 2.19; 3 Martin Lloyd (Bexley AC) 2.19.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics start on August 8, with the High Jump event commencing on August 19 at 7.10pm.
Southwark Community Games' team thanks Samson for his dedication to athletics and wishes him the best of luck in achieving his Olympic dream.
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