By Neto Baptiste
Former Kittitian sprinter and champion in the 100 meters at the 2003 World Athletics Championships, Kim Collins, believes it is just a matter of time before sprint legend Usain Bolt’s record of 9.58 seconds over the same distance is eclipsed.
Speaking recently on the Good Morning Jojo sports show, Collins, who clocked 10.07 seconds in France back in 2003 for his gold medal at the World Championships, said that athletes are constantly pushing the barrier forward and could, as early as 2024, move within reach of the Jamaican’s sprint record.
“Well, it could happen as early as next year because the envelope and the barrier is being pushed all the time and it just takes the right conditions, not so much the person.
“Sometimes things are just right, the track is nice, the weather is nice, the crowd is energetic and the crowd is out there cheering and shouting and you had a great breakfast, lunch or dinner. The field is packed and everybody now ready and the gun is going to go off and we see what happens but it is possible,” he said.
Collins, who has represented his country at the Summer Olympics on five occasions, from 1996 to 2016, was St Kitts and Nevis’ first athlete to reach an Olympic Games final. He competed at 10 editions of the world championships in athletics, from 1995 to 2015, winning five medals.
The former sprinter said things have changed drastically since his competitive days with athletes, particularly the men, being very picky as to whom and when they race outside of the big events. This, he believes, is not good for the sport.
“People pay to see you run … The hurdlers will line up, the shot putters will line up but when it comes to the men’s 100 they want to pick and choose when they race.
“In the days of Carl Lewis and Ben Johnson and those guys like Linford Christie, it was more brutal because these guys came to race and there was no joking about it. They would let you know you are not going to be the champions, not going to win and so it was different back then, it was not just sitting back and letting you go and have fun because that’s not how this works, not as a sprinter, we come to spoil your show,” Collins said.
USA’s Fred Kerley, in 2022, clocked 9.76 seconds while Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala registered a time of 9.77 seconds.