Photo courtesy wikipedia.org

Kim Collins (born 5 April 1976) is a track and field sprinter from the Caribbean nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

In 2003, he became the World Champion in the 100 m. He represented his country at the Summer Olympics on four occasions, from 1996 to 2008, and was the country’s first athlete to ever reach an event final.

He has also competed at eight consecutive editions of the World Championships, beginning in 1997 and up to 2011.

Collins was the bronze medallist over 200 m at the 2001 World Championships in Athletics and became the 100 m champion at the 2002 Commonwealth Games with a personal best run of 9.98 seconds, breaking the 10-second barrier.

He won a silver medal over 60 metres at the 2003 IAAF World Indoor Championships, before going on to take his outdoor crown. He also won sprint medals at the 2005 World Championships, 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships and 2011 World Championships.

Career

Collins competed in college for Texas Christian University. He competed on behalf of his country in the 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 Summer Olympics.

Collins made his debut at major championship at the 1997 World Championships, where he failed to qualify for the second round in the 100 m.

He improved quickly, and at the 2000 Summer Olympics, he became the first athlete from his nation to qualify for an Olympic final, finishing 7th in the 100 m. The next year, Collins would win St. Kitts’ first World Championship medal, when he tied for the bronze medal in the 200 m.

At the 2002 Commonwealth Games, he won his first major title. After the 100 m race, which Collins won after two other favourites pulled out of the final with an injury, he tested positive for doping.

However, it was found that the banned substance was part of the asthma medication Collins had been taking for several years, but had neglected to mention to the medical commission. Collins eventually was allowed to keep his title, and got away with a warning.

Collins was featured on a set of two stamps from St Kitts issued in 2002.

The 100 m at the 2003 World Championships (sometimes called the “World’s Fastest Man” competition) became the biggest triumph of his career. With Olympic and World Champion Maurice Greene eliminated in the semi finals, the field was wide open. In a very close race, where the top four athletes finished within 0.02 seconds, Collins won and became the first world champion from Saint Kitts and Nevis.

At the 2005 World Championships, Collins claimed a bronze medal in the 100 m behind Justin Gatlin and Michael Frater though he was given the same time as the latter.

Finishing fourth in his heat, Collins qualified for the finals in the men’s 200 m race in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and finished in sixth place on 20 August 2008.

He competed at the 2009 World Championships and reached the quarter-finals of the competition, but he was eliminated after finishing in fourth place behind eventual finalists Asafa Powell, Darvis Patton and Marc Burns. He announced his retirement from international athletics in September that year, bringing an end to a career that spanned almost 17 years.

Seeing that his body was in good condition, Collins returned to athletics on 29 January 2011 at the Aviva International Match in Glasgow, reversing his retirement at the age of 34, and he finished fourth in the 200 metres.

After experiencing a good week of training, he took a win at the Russian Winter Meeting in Moscow. He surprised with a 60 m personal best and national record of 6.52 seconds to win at the PSD Bank Meeting in Düsseldorf, overhauling his best mark which he had set nearly eleven years earlier.

That time did not stand for as long, however, as he ran 6.50 seconds in the heats of the BW-Bank Meeting a few days later. Collins celebrated his return to the track in unlikely fashion, winning both his heat and semi-final races in the 100m at the 2011 World Championships before finishing third and winning a bronze medal in the final after the disqualification of Usain Bolt.

At the Men’s 4x100m Relay Qualifying Heats, Collins ran the second leg for the St Kitts and Nevis relay squad and helped clock a National Record of 38.47. The timing led Kim and his team to a first-ever final.

The last event saw Collins team up with Jason Rogers, Antoine Adams and Brijesh Lawrence to clock 38.49, only 0.02 slower than the national record in the heats but good enough for a first-ever bronze for the St Kitts and Nevis squad.

At the XVI PanAmerican Games in Guadalajara 2011, Collins proved he is only getting better with age. On Monday, October 24th, 2011 Collins shattered a 28-year-old PanAmerican Games record when he ran a time of 10.00, eclipsing the old record of 10.06 seconds held by Cuba’s Penalver Leandro.

Running out of lane 4 Collins looked at ease and was never challenged in the race by any of the other competitors. After two false starts in his heat, Collins remained focus and was able to demonstrate to the western hemisphere his true potentials.

Kim Collins won his heat resoundingly establishing a new Pan American Games Record of 10.00 seconds, 200ths of a second from his lifetime best. After his record-breaking performance, the 35-year-old, Collins was firm favourite going into the Finals but was edged out of the Gold Medal by Jamaica’s Lerone Clarke, leaving Collins with the Silver.

Running from the 3rd lane with a +0.2 headwind, Kim Collins got off to his usual fast start but was challenged all the way by Lerone Clark who went on to edge Collins 10.04 on the line with a 10.02 clocking. Kim Collins’ silver medal was the first-ever medal for St. Kitts and Nevis at the Pan-Am Games.

Statistics

Kim Collins during World Indoor Championships 2008 in Valencia
Personal bests
Event                                         Date                              Venue                          Time (seconds)
50 metres (indoor)     10 February 2009     Liévin, France                       5.75
55 metres (indoor)     24 February 2001     Reno, Nevada, USA             6.24
60 metres (indoor)     13 February 2011     Karlsruhe, Germany            6.50
100 metres                     27 July 2002              Manchester, England          9.98
200 metres                    9 August 2001            Edmonton, Canada              20.20 (NR)
4×100 metres               4 September 2011     Daegu, Korea                          38.47 (NR)

 

Misc.

August 25 was declared Kim Collins Day by the government of St. Kitts and Nevis in honour of one of the track star’s most significant accomplishments, the gold at the World Championships in Paris, France in 2003

Article by wikipedia.org