| Kim Collins after winning the men’s 100m in Paris on Monday. (Reuters)
Paris: Kim Collins hailed himself as “the most natural sprinter in the world” after storming to the 100 metres gold for the tiny Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis on Monday.
“I don’t lift weights, I don’t believe in pumping iron and I don’t take vitamins. It’s all raw talent,” Collins said after ending American Maurice Greene’s six-year reign as world champion.
Commonwealth champion Collins said he felt “no pressure” before the final with all the attention focussed on world record holder Tim Montgomery and European champion Dwain Chambers.
“I’m not one of those hard-working sprinters,” he said. “I’m more easy going. My hamstrings are not strong. I really don’t feel you should kill yourself (in training).”
Then, pointing at his coach Monty Stratton, Collins said: “He knows that if I don’t feel like coming to practice then he’s going to get a phone call. He’s going to respect my decision and know that I’m not going to cheat myself. It’s good for him to accept that and to continue to work with me.”
Collins said his victory would be celebrated long and hard on St Kitts and Nevis, two Caribbean islands with a combined population of 40,000 that gained independence from Britain in 1983.
The 27-year-old spends three months of the year in the Caribbean, and the rest of his time in Texas. “I come from a big family. My mum had 11 children and I am number six. I like to go home.”
Asked if he was now favourite to take Olympic gold in Athens next year, Collins replied: “I don’t think so.
“Mainly because the Americans are not going to take it lying down. They have the Olympic champion (Greene) and the world record holder. They are going to come out firing. You don’t like to lose.”