Knott’s Olympics quest starts with silver finish in Texas
Sprinter Kristina Knott restarted her qualifying bid in the Tokyo Olympics by placing second in the women’s century dash of the 93rd Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas.
The Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) double-gold medalist clocked 11.54 seconds in the 100m after arriving behind Kiara Parker, a former Arkansas Razorback track and field ace who crossed the line in 11.20 seconds. Former University of Kansas sprinter Crystal Manning checked in third at 12.52 seconds, with the fourth entry, Ashley Henderson, failing to finish after suffering an injury at the halfway mark. Knott returned to competition nearly seven months after registering a new national record of 11.27 seconds in finishing second at the Drake Blue Oval meet in Des Moines, Iowa last Aug. 30.
New record holder
That historic run eclipsed the long-standing national mark held by the glamorous Lydia de Vega-Mercado, who set the record in the 1987 Jakarta SEA Games with an 11.28-second performance.
De Vega was the first Filipino who competed both in the 100m and 200m during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, a feat Knott is looking to duplicate.
Though Knott’s clocking in Texas on Sunday was still off the Olympic qualifying mark of 11.15 seconds, Philippine track and field consultant Rohsaan Griffin believes there’s little to worry about.
Knott, the SEA Games women’s 200m record-holder, will next travel to Clermont, Florida for the Pure Athletics Meet to participate in the sprint double.
After capturing the gold medal in the 200m during the 2019 SEAG in 23.01 seconds, Knott is now targeting 22.80 seconds to secure an Olympic spot in the event.
She will likewise run in a high-level race for 100m and 200m in Gainesville, University of Florida on April 17 before Knott packs her things for the 10th Savona International Meeting in Italy on May 13. INQ