News29 Sep 2009

Collins, 2003 World 100m champion, retires


Kim Collins (SKN) acknowledges the crowd after the 100m semi final (© Getty Images)

time World championship medallist (three outdoor and two indoors) announced his decision to quit international athletics on 14 September, he ended an international career which spanned 17 years from 1993 to 2009.

The 33-year-old from St Kitts and Nevis, who has the distinction of being the first Caribbean athlete to win gold in the 100 metres at the World Championships, indicated that his body could not endure the rigourous training anymore.

“It’s very tough to be training so many hours for so many days of the week,” a teary eyed Collins told sports officials on the Pavilion named in his honour, at the St. Kitts Silver Jubilee National Stadium.

Collins put his tiny nation on the international sports map in Paris 2003, by posting 10.07 seconds to win the blue ribbon event.

Prior to that, only athletes from the United States (Carl Lewis 3, Maurice Greene 3), Canada (Donovan Bailey 1) and Great Britain (Linford Christie 1) had finished atop the medal podium in the coveted event.

“Competition, the travelling, as much as I have to do it I hate travelling... its tough and being away from my family especially my kids... I’m sorry I just can’t do it (anymore),” reasoned Collins, who is married with three children with a fourth on the way.

The only other Caribbean athlete to win gold in the 100m at the World Championships is World record holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica, who sped to 9.58 seconds in Berlin last month.

Collins’ other medals at the World Championships came at the 2005 edition in  Helsinki, where he claimed the 100m bronze with 10.05 seconds and the 2001 staging in Edmonton, where he clocked a career best 20.20 seconds to collect bronze in the 200m.

Collins, who produced his 100m life-time best time of 9.98 in 2002, has produced four sub-10 times over his career.

The only Caribbean athletes with more sub-10 clockings, to date, are: Jamaicans Asafa Powell (60) and Usain Bolt (16), Ato Boldon (43) and Richard Thompson (7) both of Trinidad and Tobago as well as Daniel Bailey (6) of Antigua and Barbuda.

Collins, who has spent the better part of the last decade training in Jamaica with world respected sprint coach Glen Mills, has won two silver medals in the 60 metres at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham 2003 and Valencia 2008.

Collins, who copped his first international medal at the 17th Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002 where he clocked 9.98 to win the 100m, has competed in three Olympic Games during his career.

At those three quadrennial games, the affable sprinter contested either of the 100 and 200 metres final.

Collins, the first athlete from St Kitts and Nevis to make an Olympic final, placed seventh and sixth in the 100m at the 2000 Sydney Games and the 2004 Athens Games respectively.

He also finished seventh in the 200m at the Beijing Olympics, which was won by Bolt, in a then World record 19.30 seconds.

In the end, Collins expressed satisfaction about his athletic achievement and is looking forward to being a family man. 

“It has been an incredible journey for me in track and field. Starting out almost 17 years ago, it was a journey that almost had no destination. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be a World champion.  But I think I have done what I was supposed to do, and I think someone else needs to win that Olympic medal,” Collins reasoned.

Kayon Raynor for the IAAF
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