NATHAN Douglas knows he is one big weekend away from completing a fairy-tale journey to a third Olympic Games.

The Oxford City AC star competes in tomorrow’s triple-jump final at the British Athletics Championships in Manchester, where seats on the plane to Tokyo are up for grabs.

Douglas has been to two Olympics, but they came 13 and 17 years ago in Beijing and Athens respectively.

Since then, the 38-year-old has recovered from serious injuries and seen his quest for another Games delayed by 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been plenty of setbacks along the way, but they have only made Douglas more determined.

He said: “It has been one of my main ambitions over the last few years, to make a third Olympic Games would be amazing.

“The year delay hasn’t exactly been nice, but it’s a massive motivator for me.

“The injuries I’ve had have been well-documented and I still feel grateful I’m able to compete, because of the amount of times I’ve had people tell me my career is being threatened.

“A lot has gone on in these last few years, so I think it would be one of my biggest achievements if I’m able to pull it off.”

In 2004, Douglas arrived at the British trials having never won a national championships, but increased his personal best from 16.30m to 16.95m to snatch a spot at the Athens Games.

The Birmingham-based athlete needs to finish in the top two tomorrow afternoon to put himself in contention, while meeting the World Athletics qualification standard of 17.14m would also book his place.

It is more than one metre longer than his season’s best of 16.07m in a year disrupted by the pandemic.

Douglas has minimised travel due to quarantine restrictions in the UK, but he did manage to spend time training and competing in America and was picked for last month’s European Team Championships in Poland.

Preparation has not been ideal, but he is hoping to peak at the right time.

“I’ve been trying to compete myself fit and I’m hoping this weekend I can get it all together,” Douglas said.

“I’ve always needed several competitions to get going.

“I think that’s what has affected me of late.

“Just because there have been so few competitions it’s been so tough to find the form and the rhythm that I’m used to.”

He added: “I have enough experience to know what needs to be done.

“Being in this kind of situation previously, you’d always prefer to go into these with a bit more confidence.

“I know you can pull it out in one competition, so that’s all I’ll be focusing on.”

Fellow Oxford City AC member Alice Hopkins competes in tomorrow’s long jump final in Manchester, while Kathryn Woodcock and Radley’s Luisa Chantler-Edmond go for discus medals.

Zoe Pollock was in last night’s 400m hurdles heats and Ella Turner lined up in the first stage of the 400m.