By Mackenzie WattsAthletes of St. Kitts-Nevis have proved that they are a force to be reckoned with in the world of International Athletics this year, taking top positions in some of the most renowned meets in the sport, and making it clear that great things can come from small places
With a population of just over 50,000, the twin island Federation is seen to many larger countries as a small village, barely a viable threat. Maybe this has been the root of their downfall when met with Kittitians and Nevisians who while hard working and determined, are just grateful to have been given the opportunity to perform at such a level.
Over a three week period, St. Kitts-Nevis has participated in three top athletics meets and has stood on the podium in all three.
In August, the 13th IAAF World Championships were staged in Daegu, South Korea from the 27th to September 4th August. A small seven man contingent from the Federation travelled to be a part of the games. Among them were athletes Jason Rogers, Antoine Adams, Brijesh Lawrence, Delwayne Delaney and veteran sprinter and 2003, 100m World Champion, Kim Collins.
Collins was set to perform with his teammates in the 4x100m relay, individually in the 100m and together with Lawrence for the 200m sprint races. Even though neither Collins nor Lawrence made it to the finals of the 200m race he did secure a spot among the top eight who would vie for the three best times in the 100m.
Among the eight were record holder and 100m World Champion, Usain Bolt and teammate Yohan Blake out of Jamaica, for Trinidad, Olympic Silver medalist Richard Thompson and from the athletics powerhouse, U.S.A, Walter Dix.
Following the disqualification of Bolt from the race due to a false start, Collins lead the pack for the first 60m of the race before being over taken by Blake in the final meters and battling with Dix to the end. Collins managed to cop a bronze medal in the race and make history as the oldest man to medal at the games, at age 35. This was only the start for St. Kitts-Nevis.
The relay team went on to race on September 4th, where they too placed third, moving up the ranks from 12th fastest team in the world to being among the top three and securing a position at next year’s London Summer Olympics.
This past Sunday (Sept. 11), Collins went on to race at the ISTAF (Internationales Stadionfest) IAAF World Challenge Meet in Berlin, Germany, where he clocked a season’s best time of 10.01 and won a silver medal behind new 100m World Champion, Yohan Blake.
Not to be out done by the older athletes, Adrian Williams, a 17-year-old up and coming performer in Javelin, took a bronze medal in the event while in the Isles of Man, also on Sunday at the 4th Commonwealth Youth Games. In April of this year Williams became the record holder and gold medalist of this event during the CARIFTA Games in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
There is an air of determination surrounding the athletes of St. Kitts-Nevis, they possess a momentum for success and as one local sports executive put it “we are hungry for greatness” and they plan on being no less than that- Greatness.