After failing to break her own records, Pinay sprinter Kristina Knott admitted the scorching heat in Tokyo cost her Olympic campaign at the women’s 200-meter run last Monday.
In a virtual press conference conducted by Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA), Knott revealed it was jitters on her debut in the quadrennial meet and the unforgiving temperature that denied her to at least tie her national mark of 23:01 seconds.
“I think, nerves and temperature. Those are two main factors in my race. In the warm up, it was a lot hotter than I expected... The sun really killed me,” she said.
The Southeast Asian Games gold medallist, however, shared that she was feeling good at the start of the race.
“Being on the world's biggest stage, any athlete is gonna be nervous, especially since I've never been there before. But I felt good going in. Just sitting in the call room. Once the gun went off, I felt good coming off the curve and I started going backwards,” Knott explained.
“I was trying to lift my knees. I was like ‘c'mon, c'mon.’ I was telling my body, ‘let's go, what are you doing?’ But she was not listening to me,” the athlete added.
Right after the race, reports from Tokyo said Knott might have been affected by the scorching sun since the race began close to high noon.
“She (Knott) suffered heat exhaustion. Nag-stay muna after the race sa medical station sa stadium for about an hour and rehydrated (She stayed after the race at the medical stadium at the stadium for an hour and rehydrated),” deputy team manager Edward Kho was quoted as saying.
Despite missing her chance to advance in the Games, Knott still saw her experience positively and remained grateful for sharing the track with one of the best in the world at the biggest competition in the planet.
“It was a cool experience. But obviously, it didn't end how I wanted it to. But just being in the atmosphere of greatness, it was an experience to remember for sure. I'm just trying to look at the glass half full, instead of half empty. At the end of the day, I'm an Olympian and that's something encouraging that I can take away from it,” she said.
She finished fifth and last in her heat, clocking 23.80 seconds in the preliminaries at Olympic Stadium, far off her personal best and Philippine record of 23.01 seconds.
Only the top 3 finishers in each of the 7 heats and the next 3 fastest times advanced to the semifinals later in the day.
She qualified for the Olympics via universality rule.
Knott hopes to get a month of rest as she returns home to Florida in the US before going back to competitions, such as the World Indoor and Outdoor Championships next year.
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