Nigeria’s 100m Hurdles Champion Nichole Denby, who recently switched allegiance from Team USA, won a Bronze medal in the 100m Hurdles at the ongoing African Championships on Monday in a time of 13.27s, missing out on the GOLD medal by just a hundredth of a second! The surprise winner was South Africa’s Rikenette Steenkamp who took the day in 13.26s, with Cote d’Ivoire’s Rosvitha Okou Bodjiho coming a close second with the same time. Thus Denby’s quest for the African Title and to represent Africa at next month’s IAAF Continental Cup (only Africa’s top 2 qualify for the quadrennial competition) came to an agonising end.
Denby could not hide her disappointment at finishing in third place after looking so comfortable in the heats just a day earlier: “I’m not happy, I’m not happy. That was a really bad race for me. Really bad. I’m not sure what’s next now – I think only the Top 2 go to the Continental Cup…”
She might take solace from winning her first medal for Team Nigeria, after tripping on the final hurdle to just miss out on a place the Commonwealth Games final just over a week ago. She will now have to look forward to the National Sports Festival in Calabar in November which she will now be favourite to win as she will compete for Delta State, since the Festival has now been made open to foreign-based Nigerians for the first time in its history!
In a surprising development, the championship threw up a new face, Lindsay Weyinme, whilst Nigerian fans had been expecting Ugonna Ndu to take to the track alongside Denby in the 100m hurdles heats on Sunday. Another American Recruit, Weyinme previously had not represented Nigeria (and was also not present at the National Trials in June) and virtually nothing is known of her, until now. She came through the heats in 13.39s, and followed that up with 4th in the final behind Denby in 13.43s.
The press in the stadium caught up with Lindsay Weyinme after the Final to find out more about her!
A lot of people in Nigeria will be asking right now ‘Who is Lindsay Weyinme?’ Can you tell us a little about your background? Are your parents Nigerian?
I grew up in the United States, and I have an uncle who is Nigerian who helped me to decide to run for Nigeria. We started doing the paperwork and I wasn’t sure at first, but he helped to persuade me.
What about your heritage – do you have anyone in your lineage from Nigeria?
Yeah, it’s from my uncle who married in.
So where do you see your Nigeria career going from here?
I feel it can only get better. It’s been an up and down year for me in terms of injuries and my performance, so I’m just getting better next year for worlds
And where are you based now?
In Pheonix Arizona.
Ok, all the best for the future and many thanks for your time!