ISABELA, Philippines – All eyes will be on Kristina Knott as she returns from a foot injury in the ICTSI Philippine Athletics Championships at the Ilagan Sports Complex here in Iligan City.
The Filipino-American Olympian, who had recovered from a plantar fasciitis tear on her left foot, hopes to flash her old form in the competition serving as a qualifier for the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia this May.
Knott holds the national record in both the 100m – which she set in 2020, shattering the decades-old mark of the legendary Lydia de Vega – and the 200m.
The competition, which returned after a four-year hiatus, promises to be an exciting showcase of talent, with other Fil-Am athletes like hurdler Robyn Brown, pole vaulters Natalie Uy, Alyana Nicolas, and sprinter Kayla Richardson also among the top Philippine bets.
“It is the final stage of selection for the Southeast Asian Games, and from there, going to Asian Games,” said Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) secretary-general Edward Kho.
Athletes from Vietnam, Malaysia, and first-time competitor Iraq will also compete in other categories, including the Open Elite, Under 20, and the new Under 18 Youth, the Masters (age 35 and above), and the Special Olympics.
The competition, co-presented by longtime partner MILO and logistics partner CEL Logistics Inc., officially kicked off with an opening ceremony on Tuesday, March 21, featuring a parade of athletes and colorful fireworks.
Kho said aside from serving as a qualifier, the National Open – which will run until March 26 – is also “a celebration of inclusivity,” promoting the importance of diversity and inclusion in sports. – Rappler.com
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