Kristina Knott, Kiyomi Watanabe book spots for Tokyo Olympics


Posted at Jun 23 2021 02:54 PM

Kristina Knott, Kiyomi Watanabe book spots for Tokyo Olympics 1
Kristina Knott and Kiyomi Watanabe. ABS-CBN News / FILE PHOTOS

Two more Filipinos were added to the Olympic roster of the Philippines as sprinter Kristina Knott and judoka Kiyomi Watanabe secured their tickets to the Tokyo Games, increasing the country’s delegates to the quadrennial event to 15. 

A Southeast Asian Games champion, Knott earned her spot in the women’s 200-meter run in the Olympics via the universality rule along with three other athletes from Iceland, Singapore and South Sudan. 

The Filipino-American track athlete captured four medals in the 2019 SEA Games, including the gold medal in the 200-meter dash and 4x100-meter mixed relay. She settled for silver in the century dash and 4x100-meter relay. 

In May, Knott secured two silver medals in the International Meeting of the City of Castiglione della Pescaia in Italy. 

She grabbed a silver each in the 100-meter and 200-meter events in the Italian meet, finishing behind Rio Olympics’ veteran Marie-Josée Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast.

Knott also broke Lydia De Vega's long standing record in the 100-meters, clocking 11.27 seconds in the Drake Blue Oval Showcase in Iowa to set a new national record.

Meanwhile, Watanabe formalized her entry into the Tokyo Games through the continental quota. 

The Filipino-Japanese judoka ranked 41st in the list posted by the International Judo Federation with 1,506 in the women’s -63kg category.

Watanabe is the four-time SEA Games defending champion and an Asian Games silver medalist. 

The Philippines will be sending an athlete in judo for the third consecutive Olympics after Tomohohiko Hoshina in 2012 and Shugen Nakano in 2016. 

Knott and Watanabe are joining Kurt Barbosa (taekwondo); Margielyn Didal (skateboarding); Cris Nievarez (rowing); EJ Obiena (pole vault); Jayson Valdez (shooting) Carlos Yulo (gymnastics); Erleen Ando and Hidilyn Diaz (weightlifting); Irish Magno, Eumir Marcial, Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio (boxing); and Juvic Pagunsan (golf) in the Olympics.