Former world sprint champion, Kim Collins, believes “politics” is hindering the growth and development of athletes in his native St Kitts & Nevis.
Collins won the 100-meter event at the 2003 World Championships in France where he clocked 10.07 to beat Darrel Brown of T&T and Darren Campbell of Great Britain.
The athlete, speaking on Antigua’s OBSERVER Radio’s Good Morning Jojo sports show on Tuesday, said he is disappointed with the progress of the sport in his home country.
“I am not pleased and, of course, more can be done. I don’t think that I am the only champion ever born down there and I believe there are a lot more people down there who can do great things. We may not all be gold medalists but we will shine in our own individual way; we are small so I believe we can pack a bigger punch based our size,” he said.
“A lot of people think it’s only Jamaica, Trinidad … the bigger the countries, the bigger the impact but for the smaller the country, the bigger impact it would have because people don’t expect it from a small island. We can develop the youths but there is too much politics in track & field … the politics of track & field is what kills the sport,” he added.
Collins, who was honoured during the CASI awards held here two weeks ago, said having a better understanding of athletics from a coaching standpoint has allowed him to enjoy a longer career.
“You have a better understanding of what it takes for the athlete to run fast and for the athlete to do well … a better understanding of what it takes to coach and what it takes to be an athlete. I think that was the major difference, the understanding and the knowledge,” he said.
The athlete won a silver medal over 60 metres at the 2003 IAAF World Indoor Championships, before going on to take his outdoor crown, said his preparation for the upcoming season is in full swing.
“I just started back in the gym (Monday) getting ready for 2016 Rio and whether or not I am there, my goal is just to (run) under 10 seconds and to be the first man at 40-years-old and that’s my goal. Once I can compete that, I don’t need to do nothing else,” Collins said.
He made his debut at major championship at the 1996 Olympics, where he qualified for the second round in the 100m. 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 100m.