KRISTINA Knott is aiming to reach the semifinals and run under 23 seconds in the women’s 200-meter run of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Knott’s coach Rohsaan Griffin believes Knott is capable of achieving the goal of reaching the the next round.
“I just want her to go out there and put her best effort,” said Griffin in a virtual press conference organized by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association before the Tokyo Olympics. “For me, what’s her best effort? I know we can advance to the semifinals.”
“From there, we just have to take it as it comes. But those are my expectations. I don’t think it’s unreasonable or overwhelming. I just want her to do the best that she can do given how well we prepared,” said Griffin.
Knott competes in the women's 200-meter run on Monday morning at the National Stadium. The 25-year-old currently holds the Philippine record in the 200-m with a time of 23.01 seconds, a mark that she set during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Griffin believes breaking the mark in Tokyo is achievable.
“I think that’s always in her wheelhouse. There haven’t been many 200-meter races internationally that’s why we ran a lot of 100-meter races. You just have to get those races under your belt. She came close to the national record this year which means she is on pace to break 23 seconds. We just haven’t had the opportunity to have those races.
Griffin said Knott is in high spirits even after contracting COVID-19 last month, just a few days before she was set to compete in a Sweden track meet. He also believes going into quarantine was a a blessing in disguise since the team returned to training well-rested and refreshed.
“We took the rest that we needed and I think, it was a blessing be when we restarted, we came back differently. We came back refreshed, more focused since we didn’t have the pressure of trying to qualify for the Olympics,” said Griffin.
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