Following her showing in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, Fil-American sprinter Kristina Knott has emerged as one of the top prospects for the Philippine national athletics’ team being formed to see action in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
The 23-year-old Knott, a student from University of Miami, placed only ninth in the 100-meter finals, but it was good for a no. 2 ranking in Southeast Asia.
The ninth-place showing was seven notches better than her 16th ranking before the Asiad.
Her clocking of 11.55 seconds in the Asiad put her behind Thailand’s On Umma Chattha, who finished a 100-meter run in a Warsaw event in July last year in 11.50 seconds. Knott’s time was a mere .05 second off the Philippine record.
Zaidatul Husniah Zulfikli of Malaysia ranks third with her time of 11.59 seconds in Weinheim, Germany last July.
Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association chief Philip Ella Juico took note of Knott’s performance.
“There was no Philippine entry in this event in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea. In 2018 however, Kristina Knott made the semifinals and finished ninth,” said Juico, adding that the 2018 Asian Games gave the national squad the exposure they needed.
“In the face of strong opposition offered by world powerhouses like China, Japan, Korea and Qatar, the Philippines failed to win a gold medal, like most Southeast Asian countries. (But) On a positive note and in comparison with past performances of national teams in athletics in the Asian Games, the Philippine team performed remarkably well despite the usual limited resources available for sports both from government and the private sector,” said Juico.
He added that Knott’s good showing will make her hot prospect for the SEA Games this year.
In getting ready for the 2018 Asian Games, members of the national pool went through a rigid preparation, which included establishing training camp at the Ayala Corporation’s Vermosa Sports Hub in Imus, Cavite and an athletes’ quarters at a nearby resort.
Competitions at the Pre-Asian Games in Jakarta, such as the world indoor championships in London, the Singapore open, the Thailand championships, the Vietnam national meet, the Korean championships and the Malaysian Open also got everyone in shape.
Meanwhile, a number of tough competitions are in store for members of the Philippine national athletics team as they step into high gear their preparations for the 2019 SEA Games.
The coming National Athletics Championship and the Southeast Asian Youth Championships in the City of Ilagan, Isabela in March 2019 will be among the events they will be joining.
Also scheduled are the Asian Championships in April 2019 in Doha, Qatar, the world relays and the world championships in Doha in September, 2019.