By Dare Esan:
Two-time All Africa Games champion Doreen Amata Thursday at the Bird’s Nest stadium here in Beijing qualified for her second IAAF World Championship high jump final.
The reigning Nigerian queen of the vertical jump and record holder at 1.95m cleared 1.92m to seal her passage into the final.
She was among the 13 athletes that cleared 1.92m, two centimetres below the 1.94m qualification mark set by the IAAF.
The Nigerian cleared all four heights -1.80m,1.85m,1.89m and1.92m – on first attempt and will be in Friday’s final hoping to soar higher than her 1.95m personal best and into the podium to become the first Nigerian high jumper, man or woman, to win an IAAF Worlds title.
She made history four years ago when she became the first Nigerian to make the final of the event at the 13th edition of the championships in Daegu.
Amata was delighted to be in the final again and believes God that lifted her up so far will complete the job on Friday.
“I feel happy and I am just grateful to God,” she told Completesportsnigeria.com at the mixed zone after the event and thanked former Nigeria long jump king, Yusuf Ali, for coming out to help her.
Complete Sports sighted Ali taking instructions from Amata’s coach (name withheld) to pass on to her.
“I really want to thank coach Ali for helping out. He was able to pass on the instructions given by coach to me. My coach is here with another country so he must not be seen to be assisting me . And the instructions really helped,” added Amata who never doubted her ability as well as her chances of making the final again especially after she suffered a dip in form.
She had started the season like a house on fire, clearing 1.94m twice with the second coming at the IAAF World Challenge Series in Dakar.
That mark was her second career best.
“No I never doubted my chances here.It is true I suffered a dip in form but I knew where the problem was. I knew what I was lacking then, it was straight. So as soon I returned to Nigeria for the National Trials I went straight to the weight room,” she explained and believed her decision to skip a few post-Nigeria Trials meets abroad to concentrate on her training has paid huge dividends.
On clearing all the four marks culminating in the 1.92m that sealed her passage into final, Amata said she just followed the instructions of her coach.
“My coach told me it is always better to attempt all clearances with the very first try and that is what I did,” she said.