Kim Collins, the 39-year-old former world 100 metres champion from St Kitts and Nevis snubbed by his national team after being dropped before his first race at the London 2012, is targeting an Olympic return at Rio 2016.
Following the row over his London 2012 de-selection, which officials said was due to his leaving the Olympic Village to make an unauthorised overnight stay with his wife, Collins was left in the international wilderness.
Although he returned to the national team for last year’s International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships in Beijing, after political changes in his home country had enabled a reconciliation to occur, he still needs to convince his National Olympic Committee to consider him for selection in Rio de Janeiro, which would be his fifth Olympics.
He believes his performance at next month’s IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland in Oregon could be decisive.
“If I do well in Portland I think it will help my case,” he told insidethegames, adding that no date had yet been set for him to discuss the matter with his National Olympic Committee.
“I’m hopeful, because I was in Beijing last year."
Collins earned his first 60m win on the IAAF World Indoor Tour in Stockholm on Wednesday (February 17) as he overcame a bad stumble out of the blocks to overhaul Mike Rodgers of the United States in 6.56sec. Collins is due to meet Rodgers again on Saturday at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix which forms the final leg of the tour.
His return to the national team after a gap of three years came despite his vow, in the wake of the London 2012 row, that he would never represent St Kitts and Nevis again.
On the day the men’s 100m competition began in London, Collins Tweeted: “For those who saw me run in Mexico. That's the last time I represent my country.”
And he made it clear ahead of Wednesday’s competition that the experience had had a deep effect on him.
“In 2012 I learned a valuable lesson,” he said, “the moral of which was that when life comes at you, you either take it and die or you fight back.
“I learned to fight back.
"Each time I couldn’t go to a World Championships or Olympics I did it the honourable way, which was to run faster.”
He told insidethegames that, despite the statement made over his unauthorised visit, he was still unclear why he had been excluded from the Olympic team on the eve of his event.
“I don’t know,” he said.
“I really don’t.”
Collins, who will be 40 on April 5, has now run at eight World Championships, having contested every version from 1999 to 2011, where he added 100m bronze to the gold he won in 2003.