Shaftesbury Barnet’s Marilyn Okoro admits it is make or break time in her bid to star on the international stage after failing to reach a major Games final in two attempts last year.

Despite appearing at her first Olympics, the 800m runner did not progress beyond the semi-final stage, as she failed to match her pre-Games personal best of 1.58.45 minutes in Beijing.

The 24-year-old’s disappointment came hot on the heels of her failure to progress from her first round heat in the year’s other major competition, the World Indoor Championships in Valencia.

And with the European Indoors, as well as the World Championships, pencilled in for 2009, Okoro, who finished the season with a morale-boosting third at the World Athletics Final, insists it is time she produced the goods on the big stage.

“I am at a point in my career where I need to make finals,” she said. “I have had two years where I have gone to big events, so I shouldn’t be affected by that anymore.”

Okoro added: “If I can get to some finals this year I will be pleased – the European indoors presents a chance, as do the World’s in Berlin.

“This is a big year for me and I want to be competing with the best girls in the world, because I know I can now. I feel I now have enough championship experience and it is time for me to start performing.”

Okoro will have an early opportunity to make good on her promise if, as expected, she qualifies for March’s European Indoor Championships.

* Marilyn Okoro is a member of the Aviva GB & NI Team and is preparing for the 2009 season at the Aviva UKA Warm Weather Training Camp in South Africa. Find out more at