Written by Joel Campbell
BRITISH SPRINTERS have firmly backed a campaign to allow ‘everybody’s favourite athlete’ Kim Collins the chance to compete at next month’s World Championships in Moscow.
As it stands Collins, 37, will not have the opportunity to run at the biggest track and field event of the season due to an infamous falling out with the national sports governing body of his native St Kitts and Nevis during last year’s London Olympic Games.
The acrimony between Collins and the St Kitts & Nevis Amateur Athletics Association (SKNAA) surfaced when he was withdrawn from competition by his team’s officials as punishment for staying overnight in a hotel with his wife.
In 2013 Collins, who will be competing at the London Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium this weekend, has set a 100m personal best and new national record of 9.97s and is the only man from his country to have dipped under 10 seconds twice.
Evris Huggins, public relations officer of the SKNAAA, is reported to have said Collins was not selected because he “did not meet the selection criteria as outlined by the SKNAAA World Championships in Athletics Standard.”
Speaking to the Voice of Sport, British sprinter Jeanette Kwakye explained why she, along with fellow Brit Tyrone Edgar, had signed an online petition to let the popular Collins run.
“I think that it is really important for a man like Kim Collins to run because I think at the age of 37 he is in the shape of his life and he epitomises what a healthy, clean athlete can do later on in their career.
“He’s a great role model for aspiring sprinters as well as current sprinters, so that’s why I signed the petition.”
Kwakye added: “I just hope what they (SKNAA) are doing doesn’t constitute restraint of trade. I would hate to think that he is being denied the opportunity to earn a living.
“Everybody loves Kim, he’s everybody’s favourite athlete and I think it would be good for the sport if he was allowed to run and this situation was resolved amicably and not in the courts.”