Kristina Knott placed sixth overall in the women’s 200-meter sprint and moved to closer to a qualifying seat to the Tokyo Olympics.
Knott boosted her chances during the inaugural North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association New Life Invitational last Saturday.
The current holder of the Philippine national record for the event clocked 23.37 seconds at the end of her event in the competition, also known as the World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meeting at the Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar, Florida.
The 25-year-old Filipino-American track star was five notches behind world no. 3 and Jamaica’s double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah.
Thompson-Herah took the gold in 22.54 seconds, which was within the Olympic Qualification standard of 22.8 seconds.
Kyra Jefferson of the United States also hit the OQS time after submitting a time of 22.77 seconds, with British sprinter Jodie Williams taking third in 23.10 seconds.
Knott’s performance earned her 50 points, allowing her to move up in the Olympic rankings by a notch to no. 62.
It was Knott’s third best time of the season, since clocking 23.17 seconds at the 2021 Louisiana State University Alumni Gold Athletics meet in Baton Rouge last April.
She now has 1141 points to her credit and will need only four points to move further up the Olympic rankings and make it to no. 56.
“It went well. She won her heat, third fastest time this season under any conditions (+2.6 ), finished healthily, placed 6th overall, got points, mission accomplished,” said Knott’s coach Rohsaan Griffin, who added if Knott reaches the rank of no. 56, she will be able to make cut to the Tokyo Olympics by way of the World Rankings quota.
“She is is 4 points away from qualifying by points. We have the competitions, so our chances are extremely high qualifying that way,” said Griffin.
Knott gained a significant increase in her position in the current Olympic rankings since joining two world-class meets in Italy last month.
Rising from the mid-80s in the past months, Knott has moved to 63rd place after two meets in Italy.
Racing against Rio Olympics veteran Marie-Josée Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast on May 19 at the International Meeting of the City of Castiglione della Pescaia in Italy also counted as another of her best stints this year.
While Ta Lou, who is at no. 5 in the Olympics, dominated the 200 meters in 22.88 seconds with +4.9 meters/second breeze blowing, Knott settled for the silver behind her in 23.9 seconds, her second best time of the season.