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Article based on an Interview with Kim Collins
by Dean Greenaway of Tortola
St. Kitts’ Kim Collins win Commonwealth Games 100 meters
St. Kitts’ Kim Collins ran a personal best and national record 9.98 seconds to win the Commonwealth Games 100 meter title on Saturday night, while England’s favored sons- Dwain Chambers cramped and Mark Lewis-Francis pulled a hamstring, chasing the Kittian.
Collins sent his message to the Brits in the semis. “I was really pissed off with what Lewis-Francis did in the first two rounds, when he tried to look at me like I’m nobody,” Collins told the BVI Standpoint in an exclusive interview. “Even though the commentator wasn’t talking about me-I didn’t let that get to me. In the semis, he really got to me. I went out and won the heat-I wasn’t trying to do that-but I had to it in order to establish what was going to happen in the finals. That was a message.”
Collins-planted in lane five with his main challengers on either side-said the media did a good job of building up the race. “This is home and nobody wants to know that anybody is going to win but the home team-the fans don’t want to hear somebody from St. Kitts, somebody from Nevis is going to win-they want to hear-Lewis Francis going to win or Dwain Chambers-that way, the stands was full. The media did a great job in providing the fans with the message they wanted to hear. It is good for the sport and ticket sales-I had no problem with that.”
Collins-a Sydney Olympics 100-meter finalist and last year’s World Championships bronze medallist-won his first major title. “It means a lot to me,” he said. “It’s my first championship and a very big title. I’ve been hearing about the Commonwealth Games for a long time. Coming from a former colonial island-its a big meet for us-this is like next to the Olympics-it’s bigger than World Championships to some of us.”
Collins will represent the region at the World Cup later this year. “I feel like I’m the best man for the region in the sense that most of the other islands feel that if their boy can’t win, we want you to win. If Oba (Obadalee Thompson, Barbados) don’t win, if Ato (Bolton, Trinidad) don’t win we want you to win-that’s the pride and joy I’m carrying right now.”
The XVII Commonwealth Games is a world-class event and the most significant multi-sport event to be held in Britain since the Olympics of 1948. It will be the largest ever Commonwealth Games, with athletes of the highest quality from 72 nations competing for Gold in 14 individual sports and three team sports, from 25 July – 4 August 2002.