It is less than 18 days to the 2015 world Athletics Championships in Beijing and 22 Nigerian athletes, including Doreen Amata, for the high jump event, have been named for the championship.
The 27-year-old first came into the consciousness of Nigerians in Beijing in 2008 and this year she returns to Beijing trying to go over 1.95m, which is the national record she set in Abuja in 2008.
The Delta State athlete believes it’s time to take up the new challenge of erasing that mark.
“I’m trusting God, praying and working hard to get to 2metres and beyond. I want to break the 2metre barrier. That’s my goal right now; it’s about time,” she said.
The past season was a challenging one for Amata who ended the season early in protest of the lack of support from the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and Nigeria as a whole.
As a result, she missed competing in the national trials and by extension, the Commonwealth Games in Scotland.
However, she has put the past behind her as she missed out on qualifying for the 2013 edition in Russia, after getting to the final in 2011 in Daegu, South Korea.
She continued: “I want to go to the World Championships and try to repeat what I did in 2011 and even better and by God’s grace, get to the podium.
“However in order to achieve all of that, I have to make sure that my preparation is solid and I have to compete.”
Amata began to walk the talk by travelling out of the country to commence preparation for these events.
She competed at a meet in Atlanta, Georgia, where she finished third with a distance of 1.85m. She went on to win her event at the very competitive Drake Relays where she won with a jump of 1.90m.
She then added the 4cm that she needed to qualify for the Worlds in Senegal in May as she jumped a season’s best of 1.94m.
She is also working to become the first woman to win the High Jump at the All-Africa Games for the third consecutive time. The mother of one won the title at the Algiers 2007 Games, and successfully defended her crown in Maputo, Mozambique four years later.
She is optimistic of making it a hat trick of titles in Congo Brazzaville this September.
“I hope to be in top shape to go out there and defend my title at the All-African Games. I won the last two editions so this is going to be my third shot at the gold medal. I want to win the title as usual and become the first woman to win it three times,” she added.
This is wishing her the best of luck.