Sprinter Kristina Knott and Judoka Kiyomi Watanabe became the latest Filipino athletes to earn their tickets for the Tokyo Olympics scheduled to start exactly 30 days from now.
According to worldathletics.org, Knott earned a berth through universality place in the women’s 200 meters while Watanabe got the ticket in the women’s half-middleweight (63kg) through Continental Quota based from the International Judo Federation website.
The country now has 15 athletes qualified to the Games, already exceeding the previous delegation of 13 qualifiers at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Knott, who just earned her seat at the Tokyo Olympics, has tested positive for the coronavirus despite the vaccines she got around the middle of May 1st dose and second week of June second dose.
PATAFA president Philip Ella Juico bared the news on Wednesday afternoon, hours after the announcement the Filipino-American sprinter has punched her ticket to this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
The Filipina sprinter will undergo a five-day quarantine, said coach Ro Griffin.
Knott, a Fil-American, boasts of two gold medals at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games including in the women’s 200m where she posted a national and SEAG record of 23.01 seconds.
Her personal best is close to the Olympic entry standard of 22.80sec. Her current season best is at 23.17sec she made at a race in Baton Rouge, Louisiana last April.
Meanwhile, two Continental Quotas were given in Asia in Watanabe’s weight class with the other slot being given to Uzbekistan’s Farangiz Khojieva.
So far, there are 18 qualifiers in Watanabe’s division based on the world rankings list and seven Continental Quotas.
Watanabe, a Fil-Japanese who won a silver medal in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, is currently ranked No. 41 in her division.
Knott and Watanabe joined fellow Filipino qualifiers pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Elreen Ando, boxers Eumir Marcial, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Irish Magno, golfer Juvic Pagunsan, rower Cris Nievarez, taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa, shooter Jayson Valdez, and skateboarder Margielyn Didal.
More athletes are still expected to earn berths particularly in swimming and golf.