Veteran Collins steals headlines as James wins again

BIRMINGHAM, England, CMC – Veteran sprinter Kim Collins rolled back the years yet again as he conjured up another stellar performance Sunday to win the 100 metres sprint at the Birmingham Diamond League.

When the headlines should have been made by Olympic champion Kirani James’ smashing the men’s 400 metres meet record, the 40-year-old St Kitts and Nevis athlete stole a share of the spotlight when he clocked 10.11 to win his event.

Collins survived two false starts that claimed Churandy Martina and Aaron Brown and then held his nerve to chase down American Rodgers and catch him on the line, in a sensational finish.

Chijindu Ujah of Great Britain was a close third in 10.12.

Veteran St Kitts and Nevis sprinter, Kim Collins. (file photo)
Veteran St Kitts and Nevis sprinter, Kim Collins. (file photo)

“A lady hasn’t given me flowers in quite a while so I was really surprised. It was a good race …,” Collins said afterwards. “As you get older you have to be wiser and taking care of the body is a little more tricky, so I have to rest properly, eat properly and make sure that the training is the way it is supposed to be in terms of getting fit first before thinking about running fast.

“I have to make sure my body is in good condition before I think about pressing the gas.”

Collins is a former World champion following his triumph in Paris 13 years ago.

James, meanwhile, posted his fifth win in as many outings as he streaked to a new meet record of 44.23 seconds.

Running out of lane five, the 23-year-old was hardly challenged throughout the contest. He came off the final turn in front and simply accelerated over the last 80 metres to finish ahead of Botswana’s Isaac Makwala (44.97) and American Vernon Norwood (45.08).

Fellow Grenadian Bralon Taplin finished fifth in 45.25 seconds.

James, the world-leading this year, said he was happy his build-up for the Rio Olympics was going according to plan.

“I think I am very pleased with that today,” James said.

“The sun is out and I’m happy to execute my performance as I planned. It shows I am in good form but I have to stay focused and keep to my plan for Rio.”

In the women’s 400 metres, Jamaican Christine Day finished second in 51.09 seconds, behind winner Floria Guei of France who posted a personal best 50.84.

 

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