Tracksters resume quest for Tokyo berths

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    DESPITE the disruption in their respective schedules due to the global outbreak of the novel corona virus from Wuhan, China, five national track and field athletes hope to renew their quest to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic quests in July.

    The Philippines Athletics Track and Field Association released the names yesterday of the Olympic hopefuls, namely: Rio Olympic Games veteran Eric Shawn Cray, sprinter Kristina Knott, pole vaulter Natalie Uy, shot putter William Morrison and marathoner Christine Hallasgo.

    Both double gold medalists in the last 30th Southeast Asian Games, Cray and Knott were scheduled to compete in the Asian indoor and world indoor athletic championships, respectively, but were scrapped because they were supposed to be held in the Chinese cities of Hangzhou (Feb. 11-13) and Nanjing (March 13-15).

    Between them, Knott has the best chance of making the grade since her record-breaking time of 23.01 seconds in ruling the women’s 200-meter dash in the last SEA Games is tantalizingly close to the qualifying standard of 22.80 seconds for the distance.

    PATAFA president Philip Ella Juico bared that the plan for Knott, a former University of Miami varsity ace, is to compete in relay meets in Texas then move to Orlando, Florida where she will resume her training before her Olympic qualifying events

    Juico said the Fil-Am runner will be seeing action in competitions in the Texas cities of San Antonio and Austin as well Japan and Italy.

    On the other hand Cray, a four-time SEAG 400-meter hurdles champion and based in San Antonio, Texas, will be eyeing his return to the Olympics by seeing action in several US meets in the hope of meeting the qualifying time of 48.80 seconds before the cut-off date of June 29. His personal best and national record is 49.05 seconds.

    In preparation for the US athletic outdoor season, the hurdler recently saw action in two indoor meets in New Mexico, clocking 47.80 seconds in the 400-meter run in one of them, according to the athletics chief.