Eric Cray earns five-peat as SEA Games 400-meter hurdles king

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 17) – The continuing dominance of Eric Cray highlighted the Philippine athletics team’s fourth day of campaign in the 31st Southeast Asian Games.

The 33-year-old sprinter earned his fifth straight SEA Games gold in the men’s 400-meter hurdles after tallying a time of 50.41 seconds in the event’s final on Tuesday at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Cray recorded a better time in the finals after ending up with 52.65 seconds in the preliminary heats, which ranked second overall.

The Filipino American trackster bested silver medalist and hometown bet Lich Quach Cong (50.82 seconds), bronze medalist Jun Jie Calvin Quek of Singapore (51.19 seconds), and six other runners, including compatriot Francis Medina.

“Man, it’s a blessing. I thank God for this, I feel that I still got one more left in me,” said Cray, who had to endure hamstring issues before his Vietnam stint.

His latest gold medal is also Cray’s seventh overall in the biennial sports event and he can clinch his eighth gold in the men’s 100-meter run on Wednesday.

Cray’s women's counterpart Robyn Brown also produced a medal as she bagged the bronze medal with a time of 56.44 seconds.

Brown trailed by a hairline against the two hometown bets -- gold medal winner Lan Quach Thi with 56.33 seconds and silver medalist Huyen Nguyen Thi with 56.41 seconds.

Meanwhile, Sarah Dequinan won silver in the women’s heptathlon after garnering 5,381 points, a few points behind the 5,415 of gold medalist and hometown bet Na Nguyen Linh.

Finishing behind Dequinan, who won the gold medal in the 2019 edition, were bronze medalist Norliyana Kamaruddin of Malaysia and compatriot Alexis Mae Caimoso.

Mark Harry Diones also earned a silver medal in the men's triple jump after jumping 15.87 meters, as he led by a close margin against bronze medalist Dien Tran Van of Vietnam who tallied 15.84 meters. Malaysia's Andre Anura Anuar bagged the gold with 16.51.

In the men’s discus throw, William Morrison III finished in third place and bagged his second medal in Vietnam.

Morrison tallied a throw of 50.44 meters, a few notches behind silver medalist Kiadpradid Srisai of Thailand with 51.18. Malaysia’s Muhammad Irfan Shamsuddin defended his title after throwing a distance of 58.26 meters.