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Collins puts St Kitts on the map

Last updated on: August 27, 2003 00:43 IST

Kim Collins squeezed across the line in the world men's 100 metres final on Monday to give the tiny Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis its first world track champion.

Only six hundredths of a second separated the first six men with the winning time of 10.07 seconds equal to the previous slowest in a world final.

Earlier Reports

Kim Collins is fastest man

Greene fails to make final

Nine times Olympic champion Carl Lewis also clocked 10.07 in the first world championships 20 years ago in Helsinki, the year in which Collins's tiny nation gained independence from Britain.

"This is the biggest thing that has happened to the country since it got independence," Collins said. "Everybody expected them (the Americans) to win. It was much easier for me to come out relaxed."

Eighteen-year-old Trinidadian Darrel Brown, who set a world junior record on Sunday, was second and Briton Darren Campbell came home third ahead of his compatriot and European champion Dwain Chambers.

Collins succeeds Olympic champion Maurice Greene, one of three gold medallists from the 2001 Edmonton championships to make a premature exit on Monday.

Greene, who has never regained his best form since injuring his leg in the Edmonton final, sustained another injury in Monday's semi-finals.

After a flying start, he slowed markedly and said later his left thigh was swollen and painful.


The American, now 29, promised he would return for next year's Athens Olympics, but Monday's competition only confirmed the pre-championships prediction that Paris will represent a changing of the guard.

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After the formerly invincible Haile Gebrselassie was defeated in Sunday's 10,000 metres final, Greene, defending pole vault champion Stacy Dragila and world triple jump record holder Jonathan Edwards all departed early.

Dragila, twice world and once Olympic champion in her fledgling event, failed to clear 4.60 metres and relinquished the title to Russian Svetlana Feofanova.

Edwards, 37, who announced before the championships that he would retire after Monday's final, made two jumps and then decided to pull out.

His withdrawal cleared the way for Swede Christian Olsson to win his first global title with a leap of 17.72 metres.

"I've had an incredible career, looking back from when it started at the English Schools as an 18-year-old," he said.

"I never thought I would have the career I've had and I'm very thankful for that. I'm not sad."

Irina Yatchenko, 37, became the oldest world champion ever when she won the women's discus final to hand Belarus their third gold medal of the world championships.

Yatchenko replaced Russian Yelena Nikolayeva, who won the women's 20 km walk on Sunday and is also 37 but four months younger.

Her compatriot Ivan Tikhon won the hammer as Belarus replaced Ethiopia at the top of the medals table.

South African Jacques Freitag won the men's high jump gold with a leap of 2.35.

Away from the Stade de France, the International Association of Athletics Federations has told the U.S. governing body to discipline former American 100 champion Jon Drummond by 8 p.m. (1800 GMT) on Tuesday for bringing the sport into disrepute.

Competition was held up for nearly an hour on Sunday when Drummond refused to leave the track after he was disqualified for a false start.

John Mehaffey
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