FIL-AM sprinter Kristina Knott resumed her Olympic qualifying campaign on a strong note yesterday (Saturday in the US), clocking 11.54 seconds to place second in the 100m run of the 93rd Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas.
Running in lane 7, Knott took runner-up honors behind former Arkansas Razorback varsity athletic ace Kiara Parker, a 2019 world athletics bronze medalist, who clocked 11.20 seconds, while former University of Kansas athletic team mainstay Crystal Manning was third in 12.52.
Knott’s clocking matched the winning time of Vietnamese sprint star Le Cu Tinh in the 100-meter race in the 30th Southeast Asian Games two years ago at the New Clark City Athletic Stadium, according to pinoyathletics.info website owner Andrew Pyrie.
However, there were only three entries in the invitational race after veteran Ashley Henderson pulled out.
It was the first race in nearly seven months for the 30th Southeast Asian Games double gold medalist since she set a new national record of 11.27 seconds in the women’s 100-meter dash in placing second in the Drake Blue Oval meet in Des Moines, Iowa on Aug. 30, 2020.
Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association American consultant Rohsaan Griffin, who has been overseeing Knott’s training, said “the performance was not bad per se” although she was off the Olympic qualifying mark of 11.15 seconds.
“She had a few technical flaws with the race set-up, and had poor execution, but nothing to panic about,” Griffin explained. “Consistently executing race models is the key for her future success. It can’t be hit-and-miss.”
The coach pointed out that Knott’s outdoor season-opening performance was similar to her progress and development last year.
“We opened (with) 11.51 last season, then 11.52 and 11.27, so nothing to panic about there,” he said, adding he also saw some positive signs in the sprinter’s performance.
“She needs to just execute it (the program). It’s there, trust me and we may see it in the next race next weekend,” Griffin said.
Based in Miami, Knott will be in relatively familiar surroundings when she sees action in the Pure Athletics Meet in Clermont, Florida in both the 100 and 200-meter sprints, he added.
The ex-University of Miami athletic standout is eyeing to compete in the sprint double in the Tokyo Olympic Games since her gold-medal winning time of 23.01 second in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019 is just slightly off the Olympic qualifying standard of 22.80 seconds.
The last time a Filipina did that was in 1984, when Asian sprint queen Lydia de Vega saw action in both events at the Los Angeles Olympics.