Confident Knott, Morrison itching for more events
Sprinter Kristina Knott and shot put thrower William Morrison are confident of achieving their Olympic dreams despite the long respite brought about by the coronavirus global health crisis.But both acknowledge that it would take a series of high-level competitions on the track and field for them to get there.“If I’m going to base it on my last run, I feel that I’m in better shape. I’m not far off the qualifying mark,” said Knott, the Southeast Asian Games record holder and gold medalist in the women’s 200-meters.
Knott’s 23.01-second clocking in the Philippine SEA Games last year is just a blink short of 22.80 seconds, the Olympic qualifying standard for the event.“I get bored doing time trials. I need more competition,” said the 24-year-old Knott, who maintains her form even during the pandemic by running on the track and lifting weights at the gym for four hours combined every morning in Orlando, Florida.It was practically the same appeal from Morrison, the SEA Games men’s shot put champion who last threw in February before the COVID-19 pandemic hit US shores.
“I just want more meets to be honest. The more meets I do, the better,” said Morrison, who has been keeping his strength up by regularly lifting weights at the gym since most of the track and field ovals in Bloomington, Indiana, have not opened yet.Morrison, 23, should meet the Olympic qualifying standard of 21.10 meters and wipe out his personal best of 20.40 accomplished early last year.
“I’m just half a meter short of the Olympic qualifying mark. I wish I could go back training on the field, but the facility where I usually train is not yet open,” said Morrison, who competes in the US NCAA for the University of Indiana.
“There are some public sports facilities that are available, but I don’t want to risk going there,” Morrison added during the online press conference on Sunday hosted by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa).
Patafa president Philip Ella Juico, however, sees a silver lining in the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics for next year and the long delay that hit the training and preparation of the national tracksters.
“We have gotten some kind of reprieve of more than one year to prepare. I’m sure they need to adjust, but the chances of making it [to the Olympics] are now even better,” Juico said.
The Tokyo Summer Games was moved to the end of July next year, canceling a total of 15 races that could help Knott meet the Olympic standard.
It likewise rescheduled a series of qualifying races for the other Olympic hopefuls such as hurdler Eric Cray and marathoner Christine Hallasgo in their bids to join qualified pole vaulter EJ Obiena in Tokyo. INQ
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