Finlay Macdonald, a columnist, wrote in the Sunday Star-Times on 26 September:
And if Delhi does – as some fear – risk the future of the Commonwealth Games in general, it may be no great loss. They are bit of an anachronism anyway, with most of the athletic codes that attend all having far more serious world championships to focus their efforts on. Given the choice, one would guess, they'd ditch the Games over their respective specialist events any day.
I wonder if he has spoken to any, you know, athletes about this. For example, Nikki Hamblin, a 1500m and 800m runner, who said this on Stuff today:
“I remember watching the athletics in Manchester in 2002 and there was a girl from my county who was competing as a 16-year-old,” Hamblin said.
“She was a surprise England qualifier and she made it all the way to the final and ended up about sixth. That was awesome. She was from my county and I knew her. It made me think, if she can do it, so can I.
“Definitely from then on I always wanted to run at the Commonwealth Games.”
Nikki works in our local bookshop. She is lovely. Everyone in Cambridge is rooting for her.
UPDATE: Nikki was third in her heat and is through to the finals.
UPDATE 2: Nikki has been included in Stuff’s list of Commonwealth Games hotties. She’ll be unstoppable now.
UPDATE 3: She wonsilver, a superb result. The winner was current Olympic champion Nancy Langat, whose time was a Games record of 4mins 05.26sec. Nikki’s was 4mins 05.97secs, 0.71s behind.
UPDATE 4: Nikki won silver in the 800m, running just 0.04s behind world champion Nancy Langat. It was a stunning finish, with Nikki sprinting from seventh to second: you can watch it here.