By Dennis Principe
Back-to-back Southeast Asian Games champion Eric Cray is confident he can handle the pressure well even if their request to move one of his events to another day be denied by Malaysian SEA Games authorities.
During the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore, Cray , a Rio Games veteran, became the first-ever Filipino to win the 100-meter dash then went on to defend his favorite event, the 400-meter hurdles which he also topped in the 2013 meet.
For the upcoming Kuala Lumpur meet, the finals of the two races will be scheduled on the same day, raising doubts about his chances to defend his titles.
Cray, however, assured everybody that he’s ready for any eventuality should the request of the Philippine Amateur Track And Field Association (PATAFA) be rejected.
“In between events, there’s a break of about 30-45 minutes but I’m not focusing on that. I’ve ran multiple races in one day so, it’s not going to be something new to me,” said Cray during a telephone interview with this writer. “You want to make your country proud so I’m up for the challenge. I’ll just make myself ready to run in both races on the same day and hopefully I get some good results.”
Cray, 28, will be competing in next month’s World Athletics Championships in London which will serve as his final preparation for his main goal of keeping his SEA Games titles.
“There’s a lot of good, tough competition out there it would definitely prepare me to defend my titles,” said Cray.
The Olongapo-born Cray seems to be peaking at the right time as evidenced by his recent success where he took home the gold medal of the 400-meter hurdles during the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships held early this month in Buhbaneswar, India.
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