By Dare Esan:
Doreen Amata’s very impressive start to the season culminating in her clearing a height of 1.94m seems to be, so far the only positive news about the Nigerian record holder (1.95m) after failing to fly once again at the 33rd Meeting de Madrid, the annual IAAF World Challenge meeting in the Spanish capital on Sunday.
Amata cleared a height of 1.80m to place 11th at the meeting, coming on the heels of her 1.85m clearance in Lausanne, Switzerland at the Athletissima IAAF Diamond League last Thursday.
The reigning Nigerian champion had soared into a personal season’s best at the IAAF World Challenge in Dakar, Senegal on May 23,clearing 1.94m to win the event.
It was Amata’s second best mark ever since she first cleared 1.95m on July 3,2008 in Abuja. She has cleared 1.95m twice threafter (both in 2011) and has not soared beyond 1.91m (2013) since she cleared 1.90m at the London Olympics in 2012.
Lately however, Amata has failed to re-ignite the fire she started at the start of the season as she failed in three consecutive competitions to hit at least the 1.90m mark.
She started with no mark at the adidas IAAF Diamond League meeting in New York on June 13 before clearing 1.85m in Lausanne and now 1.80m in Madrid.
The mother of one would however be hoping to rediscover her early season form before next month’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing where she will be aiming to make it to the finals for the second time after her historic feat in Daegu,South Korea four years ago.
It was not all about Amata in Madrid as sprinter, Patrick Chinedu was disappointing in the men’s 100m,placing fifth (10.44)in heat three while 400m barrier runner, USA-based Miles Ukaoma ran 49.29 to place third in the race 2 of the 400m hurdles.