National high jump record holder, Doreen Amata wants to make history this year by becoming the first Nigerian woman to clear 2.00m and above. The two-time All Africa Games champion believes, with good support from the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and the National Sports Commission (NSC) she is capable of scaling 2.04m this outdoor season.
‘I’m in good shape to jump well this year,” starts the mother of one who cleared 1.89m to win her first continental title in Algiers in 2007.
Coached by Kola Adebayo, Amata, who made history in 2011 as the first Nigerian woman high jumper to make it to the finals of the IAAF flagship event, the world championships in athletics is confident she will not only soar above her 1.95m national record set in 2008 but also hit the elusive 2m mark that only three South African women viz Hestrie Cloete (2.06m) who holds the African record, Desiré du Plessis (2.01A) and Charmaine Gale-Weavers (2.00mA) have been able to clear.
‘All I need is support. Since the birth of my boy in 2010 I have been consistently jumping between 1.90m and 1.95m until last year when injuries hampered my training and ensured I could only jump 1.85m.I’m fit and raring to go now. My coach is also confident I can scale over 2m and he is anxious to get me out there to compete”, said the athlete who also has her eyes on making the finals of the IAAF Worlds in Beijing this August.
Amata will be hoping she gets into the 2.04m form in Beijing and possibly become the third second Nigerian woman after Blessing Okagbare to win a field event medal at the biggest athletics stage.
The last two IAAF Worlds high jump title was won with 2.03m (Anna Chicherova (2.03) in 2011 in Daegu and Svetlana Shkolina (2.03) in Moscow in 2013.