Cray keen on clinching Olympic hurdles berth

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
Cray keen on clinching Olympic hurdles berth
Eric Cray in this file photo.

MANILA, Philippines — Six-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Eric Cray isn’t stopping until he makes the Tokyo Olympic cut in the men’s 400-meter hurdles.

The 32-year-old 2016 Rio Olympian clocked 51.6 seconds in the 400m hurdles and in copping a bronze medal in the 2021 Michael Johnson Invitational at the Baylor University’s Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium in Waco, Texas.

Texas A&M’s Moitalel Mpoke took the gold in 50.53 while unattached Pablo Ibanez the silver in 51.32.

The 2017 Asian Championships gold medal winner’s time, however, was still far from the Olympic standard of 48.90.

But given time and more races, Cray is doing the best he can to breach the standard and join gymnast Caloy Yulo, pole-vaulter EJ Obiena and boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam in the quadrennial event set July 23 to August 8.

And Cray has shown he’s capable of it having set the national record with a 48.98 in a race in Madrid, Spain five years ago.

Cray will have plenty of chances as he is scheduled to see action nine more meets, including the Don Kirby Tailwind Open on April 22 in New Mexico, the Drake Relays on April 24 in Iowa and the Texas Meet on April 30.

In May, the Fil-Am will race in the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, California, the Pro Track Series in Los Angeles, the United States Track and Field Open and the Prairie USATF Invitational.

Another Fil-Am, SEAG double gold medalist Kristina Knott, is also vying for a Tokyo spot as she will race in Savona, Italy on May 17.



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