By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Fil-Am sprinter Kristina Knott posted a season-best clocking in the World Indoor Athletics Championships Friday at the Stark Arena in Belgrade, Serbia.
The country’s lone competitor in the tournament, the Tokyo Olympian clocked 7.39 seconds in the women’s 60-meter dash to finish seventh in her heat.
It was better than her 7.42-sec output in the finals of the World Tune-up –Adam Sanford Pro in New York just a week ago.
Her feat, however, failed to earn her a semifinal berth in the event.
Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji claimed the gold medal with 6.96sec, while Americans Mikiah Brisco (6.99sec) and Marybeth Sant-Price (7.04sec) finished with silver and bronze.
Pole vaulter EJ Obiena, who failed to see action in the event due to inaction of the
Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) pending the completion of their mediation process which is being organized by the Philippine Sports Commission, congratulated Knott for representing the country in the said world stage.
“Whilst I am understandably disappointed by my exclusion from today’s World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, there is a time and place to put aside such feelings and put our country first,” Obiena wrote on his social media.
“Whilst she (Kristina) didn’t advance to the semi-finals, in one of the world’s most competitive events, she ran valiantly for our flag.”
Obiena also thanked Knott for representing the country and was optimistic that she would be able to defend her crowns in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam in May.
“I am proud to call Kristina a teammate and friend and I want to thank her for making our nation proud. SEA Games are next and I am sure Kristina shall defend her gold medals in Hanoi! Like you said, this is only the beginning!” Obiena said.