‘American Ninja Warrior’ Rookie Zhanique Lovett Is ‘Still in Shock’ Over Her Season Premiere Performance

She almost can’t believe it. American Ninja Warrior rookie Zhanique Lovett is still processing her failed attempt to qualify for the finals on the season 9 premiere of the athletic competition series.

“I’m still in shock. … I felt myself getting tired, and I didn’t think I could make the next jump,” Lovett told ESPN.com in an interview published on Tuesday, June 13. “But, I told myself that I could not fail.”

In the Monday, June 12, episode of the hit NBC show, Lovett was the only woman contestant to make it past the difficult Battering Ram obstacle to the Warped Wall. Despite her feat, the California native slid down the 14-foot-6 wall on her third try.

Zhanique Lovett
Zhanique Lovett Tyler Golden/NBC

“I thought I would get it pretty easily,” she told the website. “I train on 14-foot walls all the time, so I didn’t think 14-foot-6 would be any different.”

According to Lovett, she believes her unfamiliarity with the size of the wall and uncomfortable footwear were to blame for her demise. Though she may have not gotten as far as she would have liked, the bodybuilding champ — who, as she told ESPN.com, has been training to appear on ANW for a nearly year — also said that she is just satisfied to inspire others to set their eyes on the prize.

“I want to inspire my [three] kids, my family, and other women,” Lovett said. “Regardless of their background, how they grew up, or their education, if they really have their mind set on it, they can achieve their goals.”

American Ninja Warrior airs on NBC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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