Nigeria’s Record Holder in the women’s High Jump, Doreen Amata on Thursday joined an exclusive list comprising of the likes of Olympic champion and World Leader, Anna Chicherova in qualifying for the final of the event which comes up on Saturday.
The seven-time National champion secured a slot in the final with a clean slate, as she was one of five athletes in her qualification group who cleared every single qualifying distance – 1.80, 1.85, 1.89 and 1.92m at the first time of asking, while 3 ladies in the second group of qualifiers also did the same.
Others who accomplished the feat included Spain’s Ruth Beitia, Croatia’s Blanka Vlašić and Ana Simic, Russia’s Anna Chicherova and Maria Kuchina. So far it has been an impressive feat by the two-time All-Africa Games champion who will also be gunning for a third consecutive All-Africa Games title come Brazzaville next month.
She would however need to clear the heights of Beijing first of all, and would likely have to set a new Personal Best (PB) and National Record (NR) in the final to get a medal. Here’s what Amata had to say after qualifying for the final:
The jumper’s target for 2015 has been to erase her NR of 1.95m set in 2008, as she revealed to Making of Champions at the beginning of the season. She looks just set to do that, after winning the Drake Relays in June, and then made her best jump in four years at the IAAF World Challenge in Dakar, Senegal where she cleared 1.94m to win the competition. Beijing may indeed provide the much needed impetus to soar higher than her lifetime best.
After her 8th place finish 4 years ago in Daegu, and the long road back here, could she now be Nigeria’s best hope for an individual medal at these Championships when the women’s High Jump final gets underway on Saturday? The final will be showing at 11.30am Nigerian time on Sat Aug 29th on SuperSports SS6A, so don’t miss it! We wish Doreen Amata all the best!