Father Time is finally getting the best of St. Kitts and Nevis’ sprint icon and 2003 100m World Champion Kim Collins, who announced he’s hanging up his spikes at the IAAF World Indoor Championships he competed in this past weekend atBirmingham, England.
Collins had been hinting at retirement since and participated in his final global track and field event competition in the men’s 60 metres where he placed third in his heat with a time of 6.77 seconds and progressing to the semi-finals but was unable to complete in the event.
The Sprinter who turns 42 in April has been shocking the world for years since he returned to the sport after a brief retirement in 2009. Collins as a 40-year-old recorded his personal best time in the 100m of 9.93 seconds in Germany in 2016.
Speaking following his heat at the World Indoor championships Collins was questioned about competing against younger athletes at the level. “It is funny when you can compete with some of these young guys because they usually run a personal best when they want to beat you.”
Collins was also questioned about his performance indicating that despite working hard he hadn’t been seeing the results. “I am happy to do this for so many years and my coach and I have been working hard and it is not showing this time but it happens.”
He then confirmed his retirement and indicated that he will not be doing an outdoor season. “I have to stop. A lot of persons were upset when they heard that but it is time. I definitely won’t do outdoors I can’t do it.”
Collins had an illustrious career having made his debut on the global scene at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics since then he competed at the global level.
Collins was running next to 16-year-old Maltese sprinter Jacob El Aida, the youngest competitor at the entire championships, who got drawn next to the oldest.”The most important thing is that you have to respect the sport,” Collins told the teenager.
He continued,”Most people don’t respect the sport and that’s why you see so many sprinters come and go. A lot win one medal and their career is over because they don’t know how to last and be good to the sport.”
Collins also spoke of what he had planned for the future.”Well, first, I want to go home and roll around in the sun for like a week after being in so much cold.
“But there’s a lot of things I’m working on. One would be coaching. I will start with that because that’s my love,” he added.
The St. Kitts-Nevis Amateur Athletic Association (SKNAAA) in a statement congratulated Collins on his illustrious career.
“The SKNAAA wishes to thank Collins, a global icon, for his many accomplishments on and off the track, including representing St. Kitts and Nevis at an unprecedented five Olympic Games.”
His first global medal was in 2001 when he captured bronze at the World Championship in the 200 metres. A year later he was crowned Commonwealth Games champion in the 100 meters in Manchester, England. Collin’s crowning moment came in 2003 when he was crowned 100metre World Champion in Paris defeating the likes of Dwain Chambers and then record holder Tim Montgomery to capture the title.
He returned to the World Championships two years later to defend his title and captured bronze. Collins then called time on his career following the 2008 Olympics before reversing that decision to return to the track.
In the second phase of his career Collins was a key member of a 4x100m relay team that was formed with several young athletes that was inspired by his successes on the track.
In 2011 Collins mad headlines again when at 35, won bronze at the World Championship in South Korea behind Yohan Blake and Walter Dix in a race Usain Bolt was disqualified. Later at that game he led the St. Kitts and Nevis 4x100m relay team to a shocking bronze medal.
Later in 2011 Collins won the Federation’s first medal at the PanAm Games with silver in the 100m.
Collins however continued to run some of his quicker times over the age of 35 and has recorded the fastest times of an athlete over 35 in sprinting history. He is also famous for being the oldest man to run sub 10 seconds in the 100m and also holds the fastest time ever ran by a 40 year old over 100m. His personal best of 9.93 seconds is a National Record and he did it as a 41 year old in 2016.
Though he failed to achieve success at the Olympic Games he was able to qualify on five such occasions with Rio 2016 being his final appearance. He is the only sprinter to ever do such.
In 2015 the Track and Field stadium in St. Kitts renamed in his honour as the Kim Collins athletics stadium during the hosting of the CARIFTA games at that facility.
In 2017 Collins garnered the most votes, 798 from 1182 votes cast, to be elected to the IAAF Commission Election in London.
Collins was among 15 athletes that were nominated for the elections. The election of individuals to serve on the IAAF Athletes’ Commission ran from 1-12 August with all athletes who have been accredited for the IAAF World Championships London 2017 being eligible to vote.