Laid-back Kim happy to be out of spotlight

By Justin Palmer

Helsinki - Kim Collins is happy to be written off again and kept out of the spotlight.

The sprinter from the tiny Caribbean island of St Kitts and Nevis surprised many, but not himself, when winning the world 100 metres title in Paris two years ago.

Collins wasn't considered a gold medal contender in the French capital and goes into the Helsinki world championships, which start on Saturday, equally unfavoured to repeat the feat.

"I have thought about it a lot this week and before I came here. It didn't surprise me but it surprised everyone else," Collins told Reuters on Friday.

With Jamaican Asafa Powell breaking the world record and Olympic champion Justin Gatlin continuing his hot form from Athens, Collins has laboured to a season's best of just 10.00 seconds, set late last month at the London Grand Prix.

You write him off at your peril though.

"I feel very relaxed, Justin (Gatlin) has been running very well, and so have others so the focus is on them," he said.

"I'm happy about that. They are taking the pressure off me. No one is looking at me right now.

"You don't know what's going to happen. The biggest mistake you can make is to come here and think you have it in the bag. You just don't know who is going to peak at the right time."

Collins feels he is running into form having "made a slow start to the season".

"I am where I need to be in terms of reaching my peak for the championships."

Win or lose in Helsinki, Collins still maintains the same laid-back approach to the sport that served him so well in Paris.

"You can't kill yourself, if you win you win like a man, if you lose you should lose like a man," he said.

"That's the whole thing. When you win you are happy and you celebrate, and when you lose you have to be the same person.

"Life goes on, because if you make a mistake and somebody has a good day, you can't get upset about that because when you have a good day, you've got to love that. You have to cherish every moment, every race."

Collins carries the hopes of an expectant nation on his shoulders, willing him to give them another opportunity to celebrate in the fashion that greeted his world title.

"My phone has been ringing like crazy, I've had to turn it off," he said. "Everyone tells me they want to go back to that feeling again, they want to see me on top and have a reason for everyone to come together again and enjoy themselves."


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