The 2020 Philippine National Athletics Championships will most likely be held this December.
Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association president Philip Ella Juico said this when the yearly trackfest had to be called off this May after the government imposed a Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
“We had a very bad situation with the coronavirus pandemic. But it's a good thing, tuluy-tuloy ang training ng mga athletes,” said Juico.
This time, the annual trackfest won’t be held in the Ilagan Sports Complex, just like in the past years.
It will now be held at the newly renovated track stadium of the Philsports Complex in Pasig City.
The meet will come, with still a year left before the 2021 Southeast Asian Games.
“Matagal pa ang SEA Games when we hold this by then,” added Juico.
When it was last held in Isabela, Fil-American sprinter Kristina Knott emerged as the most bemedalled sprinter after winning three gold medals.
Knott, who is currently seeking qualification for the Tokyo Olympics, took home three gold medals in the 100-meter and 200 meter sprints, and in the 4x100-meter relays.
She went on to claim a gold, two silvers and a bronze medal in the 2019 SEA Games.
The 24-year-old Knott is expected to be around again, along with five national athletes, who have remained focused in their relentless pursuit of the first-ever Olympic gold for the Philippines.
EJ Obiena is now mapping out plans together with his personal Ukrainian coach Vitali Petrov, while training under lockdown in Italy, which has been heavily hit by the pandemic.
Three-time 400-m hurdles SEA Games gold medalist Eric Cray has a strong chance qualifying for the Olympics, is also expected to join, along with Indiana University-based William Morrison, who achieved a distance of 20.21 meters in the shotput in a meet in Indiana last year.
With many competitions and qualifiers in the United States cancelled because of the pandemic, there are plans to have Knott compete in San Antonio, Austin, all in Texas, and in Japan and Italy, before she comes back to Manila.
There’s also pole vaulter Natalie Rose Uy, the 2019 SEA Games’ gold medalist and the 2019 Asian Championship in Doha, Qatar bronze medal winner, who recently established a new Philippine indoor record of 4.25-m.
The 2019 SEA Games’ Marathon surprise gold medalist Christine Hallasgo is also expected to to show up in the middle-distance runs.
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