RUNNING on a tight schedule against an elite field, Fil-Am sprinter and Olympic hopeful Kristina Knott finished a strong second and seventh in the women’s 100 and 200-meter sprints, respectively, yesterday (Sunday in the US) in the Pure Athletics Invitational Meet in Clermont, Florida.
After clocking 11.57 seconds and finishing fourth in her qualifying heats, Knott revved it up a notch to take runner-up honors in the century dash, clocking 11.36 seconds, losing by a hair to Ecuador’s Angela Tenoria, a former world junior meet silver medalist, who timed 11.33 seconds.
American Quanera Hayes, a gold medalist in the women’s 4×400-meter relay in the 2017 world championships, settled for third place in 11.38 seconds in the race held at the Pure Athletics National Training Center Track and Field Complex located 40.7 kilometers west of Orlando, home of Disney World.
A double gold medalist in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Knott barely had an hour to rest before racing again in the 200-meter run, winding up seventh in 23.61 seconds. The race was won by Rio Olympic women’s 400-meter gold medalist Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas in 22.03 seconds.
Uibo, who has a personal best and national record of 21.74 seconds in the event, secured a slot to the Tokyo Olympic Games after surpassing the Olympic qualifying standard of 22.80 seconds.
Knott’s best time in the 200 was the national mark of 23.01 seconds set when she bagged the gold medal two years ago in her debut in the Southeast Asian Games at the New Clark City Athletic Stadium in Capas, Tarlac.
“A time of 23.61 seconds for the 200 meters(for Knott) is not a bad start after not running a 200 in close to over a year and having three races roughly each an hour apart,” American coach Rohsaan Griffin noted.
Griffin, who has been overseeing Knott’s training, also pointed out the athlete’s time in the 100-meter run was “her second personal best time” after her national mark of 11.27 seconds when she placed place in the Drake Blue Oval meet in Des Moines, Iowa last Aug. 30, 2020.
The Olympic qualifying mark for the event is 11.15 seconds.
Griffin, who has been the Philippine Athletic Track and Field Association consultant funded by the Philippine Sports Commission since 2015, is hoping that Knott would do better by focusing on the century sprint against another crack field in the Miramar Invitational this coming weekend at the Ansin Sports Complex in Hollywood, Florida.
The trackfest is a World Athletic Continental Tour silver competition offering a total pot of $75,000 and prizes up to the sixth-place finisher in each event, with the champion receiving $1,600 (roughly P77,000).