Two-time All-Africa Games high jump champion, Doreen Amata-Igbokwe has vowed to defend her crown in 2015 when the Games is held in Brazzaville, the Republic of the Congo.
AthleticsAfrica’s Tunde Eludini caught up with Doreen Amata in Lagos where the African champion looked at the year 2014 in retrospect and more importantly revealed her ambitions for 2015 - the major one being to retain the women's high jump gold at the All-Africa Games and to also perform well at the World Championships in Beijing, China.
Below are excerpts from the exclusive chat with Athletics Africa:
AA: Can you please give us a recap of how the 2014 went for you, Doreen?
DA: I was in the US early this season and I did have some competitions. I got back to Nigeria and did the Grand Prix which I won but I think that was my last competition for this season. I just decided to stay off competitions for the rest of the season.
AA: What informed your less activity?
DA: Initially being that I went to the US in November, the weather was a bit cold and my training did not go adequately. When I got to Nigeria, I got into shape but then I just did not like what was going on that was why I decided to just stay off.
AA: So have you gotten that behind and getting ready for 2015?
DA: Yes, I do, I am training and working towards 2015, since 2015 is the All African Games and World Championship year. Being that I am the defending champion at the All African games, I want to go there and defend my title; be the first woman to retain her title three times in Africa. And go to the World Championship and do what I did some three years ago being eight in the World in 2011 so looking forward to doing better than that in 2015.
AA: How do you intend to achieve this set targets?
DA: Well, I have to work hard in which I am doing. Like what we did today, it is just a strength test; with what I did today, I know where my strength level is and I know what I need to do to get it better and I know for sure that I have been working hard, with what I have been doing in training 2015 will be a good year by God's grace. In fact it would be the best year I have ever hard.
AA: Are you going to be doing anything differently?
DA: Nothing has changed I still have to go out there to compete. Right now, I am looking forward to going out to do some indoors. Well, my agent right now is working on that and as soon as the meets start rolling in, I will be rolling out.