Athlete Interview: NICHOLE DENBY – Nigeria’s 100m Hurdles Champion, formerly of Team USA!!!

1 Jul

31 year-old Nichole Denby, winner of the 100m Hurdles at the 2014 Nigerian Trials (in 13.29 seconds) speaks exclusively to MAKING OF CHAMPIONS on her decision to switch from Team USA to Team Nigeria, and on her family links to Nigeria! 

Nichole, how are you feeling about your win?

I feel great. All the girls were really great today. The weather’s great out here, the track is great, so my goal from here on out in my career is to just go for the wins. Don’t think about times or anything else – the wins are what I am going for every time I step on the track. I’m very happy for the opportunity to make the Commonwealth Games with the other girls. I’ve never run at the Commonwealth Games so I’m really excited to do that. I’m really really happy.

I believe this is your second meet in Nigeria, after attending the Warri Relays last week. Can you tell us about the path that led you to competing for Nigeria for the first time?

Well, I’m hoping to come away with a medal at the Commonwealth Games, and hoping to do really well at the African Championships as well, to make the team to the Intercontinental World Cup. That will also be my first time competing there, so I’m getting all these great opportunities and I’m going to take advantage of them. Hopefully, we can put Nigeria on top in the 100m Hurdles once again.

The question we were getting at, and what a lot of Nigerians will be wanting to know, is how you made the decision to switch from the US to Nigeria?

Well I have some family down the line from Nigeria, and I’ve made a lot of USA teams as well to World Championships and Olympics, but it is such a great honour to compete for an African country where my roots come from, and there is no greater honour for me than to do that. The USA is saturated with athletes, they have so many different people, so they really don’t need anyone else. For a country like this in Africa, there is no great honour for me to represent a country like this in Africa, it really is (an honour).

Do you know how far down your family line your connection to Nigeria comes from? Is it from your grandparents or further down?

It’s on my mother’s side. I don’t even know them, I never met them, I have just seen pictures of them and stuff so yeah, my great-grandfather was actually from Nigeria. 

So do you have a Nigerian passport now?

Yes, I’ve had it for a while now!

So what are your hopes for the Commonwealth Games and the rest of your career?

I’m hoping to come away with a medal. Obviously the GOLD medal would be great, but any medal would be great for me at the Commonwealth Games. Like I said, to win at the African Championships and go ahead and medal at the Continental World Cup, and just stay a Champion for the rest of my career! I’m hoping to go until after the next Olympics, till the World Championships in 2017 and we’ll see how it goes from there. 

What’s your PB in the 100m Hurdles?

12.54 seconds

That’s pretty fast. And how fast are you on the flat? Any chance you could help our 4x100m girls win some medals?

I was on the 4x100m team at the Warri Relays last week, and we won. But I’m not a pure sprinter, and we have lots of great sprinters here in Nigeria, so I’m going to give that job to the real sprinters, and I’m going to stick to my job over here!

Great! So we’ll look out for you in the 100m Hurdles at the Commonwealth Games and the African Championships. Congratulations on the win today.

Thank you!

 

Nichole Denby, 2014 Nigerian 100m Hurdles Champion, recently switched allegiances from USA.

Nichole Denby, 2014 Nigerian 100m Hurdles Champion, recently switched allegiances from USA.

3 Responses to “Athlete Interview: NICHOLE DENBY – Nigeria’s 100m Hurdles Champion, formerly of Team USA!!!”

  1. Akeem Akinola July 1, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    “The USA is saturated with athletes, they have so many different people, so they really don’t need anyone else. ” – Yeap! She nailed it on the head. She’s representing us because she’s not good enough for the US teams. Yet she does better than our locals.. SMH. we’ve got a long way to go.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Nigeria’s new American Athletes – Should they be running for Nigeria??? | Making of Champions - July 1, 2014

    […] 2. NICHOLE DENBY Interview EXCLUSIVELY with MAKING OF CHAMPIONS, after winning the 100 metre hurdles Ni… […]

  2. Team Nigeria in medals chase as Commonwealth Games in Glasgow take off!!! | Making of Champions - July 22, 2014

    […] at the games. They include Dominique Duncan (100m), Mark Jelks (100m), Monzavous Edwards (100m), Nichole Denby (100m Hurdles) and Tyrone Akins (110 […]

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