KUALA LUMPUR—Filipino-American Eric Cray emerged the top Filipino performer with a gold and a silver laced around his neck on a day of gold rush of sorts for Team Philippines in the 29th Southeast Asian Games athletics competition here on Tuesday.
The Rio Olympian took the challenge of becoming the best of both worlds in two events that were just a little more than an hour apart.
IN his first attempt for glory, he won the by the skin of his teeth against Vietnamese Phan Chac Hoang in the final of the men's 400 low hurdles held at the 87,000-capacity National Stadium within the KL Sports City.
Cray's time of 50.03 was just two-hundredths of a second faster against Hoang's 50.0, just enough to bag the gold medal. Indonesia placed third with 51.52 clocking.
With his energy sapped already by his efforts in the medium distance, he had a lesser chance of retaining his title as the fastest man of Southeast Asia against the top contender of host Malaysia.
With fresher legs and the crowd behind him, local hero Khairul Hafiz bin Jantan took home the gold in the men’s 100 meters to win the gold with Cray coming in at second for the silver.
Cray capped the Philippine’s biggest gold haul thus far after two gold from gymnastics and one each from fencing and
In the previous interview with Manila Standard, Cray was initially given to choose between his two favorite, Cray was initially given the chance to pick just one of his two events due to the close proximity in between them.
But he said he’s taking the challenge and would go for both.
Meanwhile, track action returns on Wednesday with Kayla Richardson, who gave up her SEA Games women’s sprint title to focus on the women’s 200-meter gold starting with the heats at 3:20 p.m. together with fellow Fil-Am Zion Rose Nelson
Archand Bagsit and Trentan Beram also make their respective bids in the men’s 200-meter run at 3:40 p.m. while evergreen Arniel Ferrera returns to active duty for the men’s hammer throw at 3 p.m.
A two-time SEA Games hammer throw champion, Ferrera, an Air Force enlisted man, was called back to action after defending SEA Games hammer throw champion Caleb Stuart was forced to withdraw due to injury.
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