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2020 Tokyo Olympics: PH tracksters close in on berths

By Nick Giongco

Five other standouts are looking to join Italy-based pole vaulter EJ Obiena in the Tokyo Olympics, the Philippine Track and Field Association leadership said Tuesday.

(From left) Kristina Knott, Willie Morrison, Christine Hallasgo, Natalie Uy, Eric Cray (Compiled photos from Reuters, MB Photos / Mark Balmores, Nick Giongco)

(From left) Kristina Knott, Willie Morrison, Christine Hallasgo, Natalie Uy, Eric Cray (Compiled photos from Reuters, MB Photos / Mark Balmores, Nick Giongco)

Patafa secretary-general Agapito Capistrano told the Manila Bulletin that shot putter Willie Morrison and Kristina Knott, both US-based, are on the brink of qualifying.

Days ago in Indiana, Morrison did 20.21 meters. The Olympic standard is 21.10.

Capistrano said the 23-year-old thrower 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) is close to making the cut.

Knott, a graduate of the University of Miami, “is on the verge” of qualifying since she has to clock at least 22.80 to earn a Tokyo trip.

In winning the SEAG gold last December, Knott timed in at 23.01 seconds.

Others in the hunt for Olympic slots include fellow SEAG champions in pole vaulter Natalie Uy, marathoner Christine Hallasgo and sprinter Eric Cray.

They were to try their luck in the Asian Indoor championships in Nanjing but the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak wiped out the trackfest.

Capistrano said the Philippine Sports Commission is behind Patafa in finding alternatives for training and overseas exposure.

“They are very professional in handling the needs of the Patafa,” said Capistrano, who represented the NSA during a dialogue with the PSC and Tokyo Olympics chief of mission Nonong Araneta.

Obiena, who likewise won gold in the SEAG, was the first to secure a Tokyo Olympics spot after ruling an event in Italy last September.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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