PH Olympian profiles: Sprinter Kristina Knott, promising weightlifter, shooter and male golfer

KRISTINA KNOTT (athletics)

Kristina Knott

Her participation in the 200-meter race will make Knott the first Filipina sprinter in the Summer Games since Lerma Bulauitan competed in the century dash at Melbourne in 2000. Since representing the Philippines in 2018, Knott, whose mother hails from Cavite, has set new national records and won medals including a double gold in the relay and 200-meter events of the Southeast Asian Games at home two years earlier. The 25-year-old failed to meet the standard time of 22.80 seconds in order to gain a direct berth to the Tokyo Olympics and got one of the four places through a universality rule.

ELREEN ANDO (weightlifting)

Elreen Ando

The 22-year-old is among a group of young weightlifters who hope to one day follow the footsteps of four-time Olympian Hidilyn Diaz. Ando is off to a good start towards that possibility after securing a Tokyo berth as the highest-ranked among Asian women lifters in the 64-kg category. The Cebu native recently won two silvers (clean and jerk, overall) and one bronze (snatch) in the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

JAYSON VALDEZ (shooting)

Jayson Valdez

The second-generation athlete joins a long list of Filipino shooters who will take part in the Summer Games. Valdez was the last to qualify for Tokyo after meeting the quota in order to join the men’s 10-meter air rifle, an unexpected blessing for the 25-year-old who was all set to focus mainly on his duties as an enlisted Army personnel. He will also fulfill a goal his father Julius failed to achieve during his time as a national shooter.


Juvic Pagunsan

The oldest among the 19 Filipino Olympians at 43 made the grade based on the cutoff in golf’s world rankings and will head to Tokyo with an advantage of sorts. Pagunsan has spent most of his professional career in the Japan Tour circuit and is coming off his first victory when he claimed the Mizuno Open in late-May. Earning a slot in the Olympic Games meant so much to Pagunsan that he opted not to push through with a third appearance in the prestigious British Open at Royal St. George’s.