MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-American track star Kristina Knott will not be defending her 200-meter gold medal title when the 2022 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games start this May in Hanoi, Vietnam.
A plantar fasciitis tear on her left foot forced the 26-year-old to skip the biennial meet. She said that as early as January, an MRI showed that she has an injury but a second MRI recently revealed a tear.
“I’ve been dealing with heel pain,” said Knott during a Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) online press conference.
“I’ll be out for two weeks, and that will be leading into the SEA Games. We made the decision to pull out and recover so that I can be ready for the Asian Games and the World Championship.”
Knott said that since the MRI in January, she was actually managing the pain, but the pain shot up a few weeks ago when she and her coaches opted to do another MRI. That was when they found out the tear after comparing the two results.
“Of course I’m disappointed. I cried about it. Now I’m done crying about it, let it heal and come back stronger,” said Knott, who continues to train with pool workouts and body exercises but not running drills.
While she is also looking forward to representing the Philippines in the July 15-24 World Athletics Championships 2022 in Eugene, Oregon, she said that there is no way that she will rush things just to be able to compete on the world stage.
If she is healthy and the foot is fully healed, Knott said she would consider competing in the worlds, but if not, she would focus on the 2022 Asian Games on September 10 to 25 in Hangzhou, China.
“We don’t want to rush (things). The goal is to win in the Asian Games,” said Knott, adding that she might be able to compete in the 200m and 400m in the Asian Games depending on her health.
In the 2019 SEA Games, Knott dominated the 200m women’s run, and starred in the national team’s 4x100m relay with fellow Fil-Am Eric Cray, and local bets Eloisa Luzon and Anfernee Lopena.
The national team won a total of 11 gold medals with 11 silvers, and 12 bronze medals in athletics in the 2019 SEA Games.
Despite the injury to Knott, as well as the absence of Guermali brothers Yacine and Sa-id due to academics and a foot injury, respectively, PATAFA president Popoy Juico remains upbeat on matching or surpassing the 11-gold medal haul they won in the 2019 SEA Games.
“We’ll still be formidable, competitive, and we’ll have a good fight. [Injuries are] part of the sport. We just have to deal with it,” said Juico.
“One thing that stands out to us Filipinos is we’re able to improvise, and improvise well,” added Juico, referring to the adjustments the coaching staff needs to do on the national team roster for the SEA Games. – Rappler.com