In many websites (especially in Spanish), it is mentioned that the worst performance in Men's 100m is that of Kim Collins, 21.73 seconds at Athens World Championship in 1997. To make things more spectacular (and, to me, more suspicious), this is the same Kim Collins who became World Champion in the same competition five years later.

There is no mention of that abysmal 1997 performance in the wiki page, but the time indeed appears in this list and also in the IAAF page.

For me, it's hard to believe that that the record was for a real, normal run. It's also totally inconsistent with the progression timeline of that runner (it would seem credible if it were a 200m run). Does anyone know what really happened?

  • Is it possible that it's a recording mistake? That time (21.73) is very close to a 200m event time.
    – rrirower
    Aug 15 '16 at 19:12

Yes, the story is true. Here is a video showing the race (at timecode 5:51).

As you can see, Kim Collins (at lane 7: it is him indeed, cf. the IAAF official results, heat #5) makes a normal start, but apparently gets hurt after ~40 m of race, and then stops his effort, just jogging from that point on. Since he nevertheless remained in his lane (at least for what one can see on the video), assuming that he reached the finishing line without breaking the rules, it is completely logical that his time was officially recorded: and the value of 21.73 s seems perfectly coherent indeed with what one sees on the video! ;-)


Considering the fact that Kim Collins qualified for the second round in the 100 m in 1996 Summer Olympics, one year before he recorded 21.73 seconds and his record of 10.63 seconds he made in 100 meters in 1995, it seems impossible for him to have recorded 21.73 seconds unless he tripped over or was injured during the race.

It is not that uncommon for track athletes to continue to run or walk when something goes terribly wrong.

I can't find anything on the internet which shows what exactly happened.


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