Knott, Nelson resume hunt for Olympic slots


    OLYMPIC hopefuls Kristina Knott and Zion Corales Nelson resume their qualifying bids for the Tokyo Olympic Games in July when they see action in separate competitions this weekend.

    Knott will take part in the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas while Nelson will vie in the San Diego State Aztec Track and Field Invitational at the San Diego State University Deck in California.

    A double gold medalist in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Knott is gunning for Olympic slots in the women’s 100 and 200-meter races set for Saturday (Sunday in Manila), distances where she holds national records that are close to the Olympic qualifying standards.

    She set a time of 11.27 seconds in the century dash with a strong runner-up finish at the Drake Blue Oval meet in Des Moines, Iowa last Aug. 30, within striking distance of the Olympic cut of 11.15 seconds.

    Knott ruled the women’s 200-meter sprint of the 30th SEA Games at the New Clark City Athletic Stadium in Capas, Tarlac two years ago, clocking 23.01 seconds, an eye blink close to the Olympic qualifying standard of 22.80 seconds.

    “Although the 100 and 200-meter races are just 90 minutes apart, this will be enough time for KK (Knott’s nickname) to recover and race hard in the 200,” noted Australia-based coach and former Philippine Sports Commission statistician Andrew Pyrie.

    “Even 30 minutes of rest is sufficient,” added Pyrie, the owner of the website

    Now an athletic scholar at the University of Stanford, Corales, who won a silver medal in the 30th SEA Games women’s  4×100-meter relay, is targeting to qualify in the women’s 200-meter dash where she has a personal best of 23.16 seconds set in the NCAA West Regionals in May last year.

    She is the granddaughter of three-time Olympic Games veteran and 1962 Jakarta Asian Games gold medalist Rogelio Onofre, who was named last week in the latest batch of enshrines to the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame.

    Knott will also take part in three more meets, namely, the Pure Athletics in Clermont, Florida starting on April 3; Miramar Invitational in Miramar, Florida, April 10; and the Tom Jones Memorial at the University of Florida James Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

    Should Knott make the grade in the 200-meter run at the Clermont meet, the sprinter might also go to Europe and see action in the 10th Savona International Meeting on May 13 in Savona, Italy in her bid to qualify for the prestigious Diamond League athletic series.
    Her target is to be invited to the Golden Gala set June 4 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy.