Anna Harrington / AAP News
The Gold Coast bronze medallist and Tokyo Olympic silver medallist has now turned her focus to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Four years after Nicola McDermott medalled on debut at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the star high jumper is eyeing Birmingham as her opportunity to “go down in history”.
On Friday, just over four months out from the start of the 2022 Games, McDermott was among the athletes present at the SCG as part of the Queen’s Baton Relay.
McDermott, who claimed silver at last year’s Tokyo Olympics behind Russia’s Mariya Lasitskene, has fond memories of the Commonwealth Games, after claiming bronze on debut in 2018.
“Commonwealth Games was the start of my international career,” McDermott said.
“It was the first time I ever thought of myself as a medal contender and I did a personal best at that particular venue.
“So to now be returning to the Commonwealth Games as an established athlete, I still want to be reaching that next level.
“For me it’s always been that competition to reset and go ‘you can not only get a medal but you can do something that people are going to remember for the rest of their lives.’
“I want to be on the podium again for World Championships and not only be on the podium for Commonwealth Games but looking at those championship records and putting my name down as I want to go down in history.”
The 25-year-old, whose personal best of 2.02m is also the Australian record, believes eclipsing the Games record of 1.96m in Birmingham is “very achievable” for both herself and teammate Eleanor Patterson.
But first comes a planned return to action in the upcoming Australian Track and Field Championships.
McDermott has been “injury free” but recently withdrew from the Sydney Track Classic and World Indoor Championships through illness.
“Got sick unfortunately a few weeks ago so it disrupted my plans and starting back at the Sydney Track Classic,” she said.
“But I know I’m in good shape and my mindset’s really sharp.”
The Commonwealth Games run from July 28 to August 8, with Australia set to be represented by 425 athletes in 21 sports, its largest ever away team.