Filipino-American Eric Shauwn Cray secured a berth to Rio Olympics after receiving confirmation from the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). Cray was the first Filipino trackster to qualify for the Rio Olympics after surpassing the 49.40 Olympic qualifying standard time when he clocked 49.12 seconds in a Los Angeles meet in May 2015.
“The standard for the men’s 400mH [hurdles]is 49.40s and the athlete’s best results in the qualification period is 48.98s. The athlete is therefore qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games,” Carlo De Angeli, IAAF senior manager competition department, said in his letter to Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) Assistant Secretary-General Maricor Pacheco.
Cray recently set another Philippine record in the 400-meter hurdles when he finished second in the IAAF Madrid World Challenge Cup held in Madrid, Spain.
He posted 48.98 seconds breaking the national mark of 49.07 seconds that he also set in Kawasaki, Japan in May.
Cray’s Japan record had placed him at No. 26 in the list of qualifiers for the Rio Games.
Cray is now aiming to notch 48.50 to be at least a finalist in the Olympics.
His American-Jamaican coach, Davian Clarke believes Cray can achieve the feat and win the elusive Olympic gold medal for the Philippines.
PATAFA President Philip Ella Juico said that he is happy with Cray’s progress.
Cray is set to train in the United States before flying to Rio de Janeiro in August.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID