No-nonsense Kristina Knott on track for record spree
NEW CLARK CITY — At a busy, joyful dinner for track and field athletes Friday night, Kristina Knott silently approached athletics chief Philip Ella Juico.
Amid the frenzy of Christine Hallasgo’s stunning victory in women’s marathon early in the day, she admitted that the enormity of the biennial meet finally sunk in.
“I’m nervous,” she told Juico. “Didn’t realize how intense this is, and how people have too much interest in the SEA Games.”
Clearly, it just dawned on her that she’s been positioned to fill up a big void—one vacated by the legendary Lydia de Vega.
Knott ruled the 200m heats Friday morning in 23.07 seconds. That smashes the 23.32-second national record that Zion Corrales Nelson set in the US NCAA this year, while running for University of California Berkeley.
Nelson’s time ended Lydia De Vega’s 33-year-old national record.
“She’s on track to break all of Lydia’s records,” said national coach Jojo Posadas.
Juico described Knott as an “intense, no non-sense” person, who is focused on her goal — make the Tokyo Olympics.
Knott will also see action in the athletics’ main event, the 100-meter dash, where her best time is 11.41 seconds. De Vega’s 11.28 seconds has stood since the 1987 SEA Games.
“She got in touch with us through fellow FIl-American athletes, “asking if she can play for the Philippines.”
Since then, the University of Miami standout has been training in the Philippines.
Posadas said Knott “is a real trouper,” who had no issues sharing room with everyone.
“We trained at Philsports (in Pasig) and in (Lingayen) Pangasinan. There was time all female athletes stayed in just one room,” said Posadas. “She’s doesn’t want special treatment.”
No doubt though, she deserves it.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.