|Kristina Knott got a major boost to her Olympic bid. Times of SEA (file photo)|
MANILA—Kristina Knott continues to build her case as the next big thing of Philippine athletics as she smashed another Lydia De Vega-Mercado-owned record.
First reported by Pinoy Athletics on Monday, Knott set the new Philippine record for the 60-meter run after winning the KMS Invitational in Alabama with a 7.32-second dash, 0.05 second faster than Mercado's previous record of 7.37 set in Osaka in 1988.
Knott got the gold over American runners Ashley Kelly (second with 7.62) and Jasmine Riley (third with 7.67).
Knott actually equalized Mercado's record prior to the feat as she clocked in 7.37 in the heats.
Knott is currently in the United States as she continues to bid to make the Olympic cutoff.
She needs to run 100 meters for at most 11.15 seconds or 200 meters for at most 22.8 seconds to qualify for the Tokyo-hosted event.
She can enter the 200-meter run through the wildcard if less than 56 runners make the cutoff by the deadline of qualification.
"Kristina has a very very good chance of making it to the Olympics either in the 100 or the 200 meters," athletics chief Philip Juico said.
He added that Knott and fellow Olympic hopeful Eric Cray are scheduled to participate in another running event in Alabama next week.
However, Juico further said that Knott can skip next week's run if she gets an invite to the American Track League.
The ATL is currently ongoing in Fayetteville, Arkansas with the last two legs scheduled on Feb. 8 and 15 (Philippine Time).
Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno