Fans start petition to see Kim Collins compete in Moscow

A campaign to allow St Kitts and Nevis sprinter Kim Collins to run at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow has been started by fans

Kim Collins (Mark Shearman)

The St Kitts and Nevis Amateur Athletic Association (SKNAAA) recently announced a team of six athletes for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in just under three weeks’ time. Former world champion Kim Collins, who recorded a national record with his 9.97 100m performance the Lausanne leg of the Diamond League series recently, was not one of those athletes.

At 37 years of age, that run saw Collins become the oldest man to clock sub-10, the 2003 world champ shaving a hundredth of a second off his previous national record which was set back in 2002. Continuing his age-defying ability, Collins went on to run 9.99 in Budapest a few days later for only his third-ever sub-10 clocking.

There’s no question as to his current form, so why can’t Collins compete in Moscow?

At the London 2012 Olympics, the St Kitts and Nevis Olympic federation pulled the sprinter out of the competition after he left the Olympic Village to visit his wife at a hotel. At the time Collins said he would never run for his country again but in an interview with the BBC following his national-record run in Lausanne it seemed he may have changed his mind, commenting: “My federation, maybe they may see this and wise up and put their differences aside.”

Speaking to SKNVibes.com, Evris Huggins, the public relations officer of the SKNAAA, is reported to have said: “Mr Collins has been in the media making a bunch of frivolous remarks about not just the SKNAAA but the country. Mr Collins has said in the media countless times that he has no intentions of representing the Federation. Those were not the words of the SKNAAA … those were the words of Mr Collins himself.

“We have not yet responded to any of Mr Collins’ remarks. So should Mr Collins wish to compete at the World Championships, he should have met the prerequisites.”

In response to the decision, a petition has been started by ‘Let Kim Run’, entitled ‘IAAF: To allow Kim Collins to compete at the World Athletics Championships’. A Twitter handle of @LetKimRun had also been set up, but at the time of reporting the user had been suspended.

By midday on Monday July 22, 255 people had signed the petition which includes a list of reasons the person behind the petition believes Collins should be allowed to compete.

There was also word of Collins considering running for another country, with Ireland said to have offered him an invitation. However IAAF rules state that even if both countries agree on the transfer of allegiance, the athlete is only allowed to compete in events after one year, ruling the sprinter out of Moscow.

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