Fil-American hurdler Eric Cray has bolstered his preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics when he eclipsed his own national record at the Golden Grand Prix 2016 Kawasaki at the Kawasaki (Todoroki Stadium) in Japan.
Cray, one of the country’s six Olympians, ran 49.07 seconds to reset his old record of 49.12sec in the 400-meter hurdles which he established at last year’s Cayman Invitational in Georgetown, Cayman Islands.
Despite the record-breaking performance, Cray settled for the silver behind eventual winner Keisuke Nozawa of Japan, who timed 48.67sec. Another Japanese bet, Yuki Matsushita, came in bronze in 49.10sec.
“Just ran a personal best today in Japan to kick my season off. New personal record and national record… I have a lot to fix before for Rio Olympics but I feel confident I will be at my best when it’s time,” said Cray in a Facebook post.
Prior to the tournament, Cray claimed bronze in the 60m dash at the 2016 Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar last February with a time of 6.70sec.
Cray was the first Filipino athlete to earn a berth to the Games after meeting the Olympic qualifying standard last year at the Cayman Invitational.
He will be joined by veteran long jumper Marestella Torres, who earned a berth through the principle of universality, boxers Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez, taekwondo jin Elaine Alora and table tennis bet Ian Larriba. (Kristel Satumbaga)