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ILAGAN, Isabela – The Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA) tries to boost the national team by forming a formidable relay squad spearheaded by Olympian sprinter Eric Cray.
The Fil-American Cray, also a 2015 Singapore Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold winner in the 100-meter dash, is competing in the 4x100m relay with Fil-Am Trenten Beram and local bets Jomar Udtohan and Anfernee Lopena.
“I really do believe we can be strong contenders for the SEA Games,” said Cray to his new teammates, referring to the biennial meet slated in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August.
“I think it’s a great team. We got a lot of work to do, but we gotta show everybody that we’re getting ready for the SEA Games,” he added.
The team, however, has yet to qualify for the national team bound to Malaysia when they compete in the 2017 Ayala Philippine National Open Invitational Championships happening here.
Beram is the current national record holder in the 200m, Lopena is a former NCAA standout, and Udtohan is best known for his five record-breaking gold medals in the 2014 Palarong Pambansa.
The four tracksters are actually training for the first time as a team here at the National Open.
“I have a good feeling on this team. Hopefully, we’ll break the national record. It should be good,” said Beram.
Beram and Cray added they wanted to talk to PATAFA Chief Philip Ella Juico if they could train together months before the SEA Games.
“We’re looking at getting together a month before the SEA Games, practice two to three times a week. We can do it,” said Beram.
“I believe we could actually be gold contenders in the relay if we’re given the chance,” added Cray.