MANILA, Philippines — Rio Olympian sprinter Eric Cray will resume his pandemic-delayed Olympic quest as he targets to compete in a total of 19 competitions starting with the KMS Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama on January 24.
The 31-year-old Cray told Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association president Philip Ella Juico on December 31 that he would be back with a vengeance after a slow 2020 and plans to see action in two to four indoor meets and 12 to 15 outdoor events leading up to the June 29 Olympic qualifying deadline for the sport.
“I intend to get into race shape early to qualify,” Cray, who had already harvested six Southeast Asian Games gold medals including several record-breaking feats, told Juico.
Cray, who clocked 50.21 seconds to snare the 400m hurldes gold in the 2019 SEAG in Capas, Tarlac, is eyeing to meet the Tokyo standard of 48.90 seconds.
Cray had already timed in 46.5 during practice last April in Texas and 47.8 in Albuquerque, New Mexico two month before but the lockdown slowed him down and was just forced to do physical training at home.
And by returning to action soon, Cray hopes he could reach his target and make the cut.
Cray is also scheduled to participate in another KMS Open leg on January 31 and various outdoor tilts next few months, including the PVAMU Relays in Prairie, Texas, the Texas Relays, a race hosted by University of Texas at El Paso, and the Mt. San Antonio College Relays.
Cray will also join the national team in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in April.
Cray is one of track and field’s best hopes of joining pole-vaulter EJ Obiena,m gymnast Caloy Yulo and boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno in the quadrennial summer games.
Also with realistic chances of making it to Tokyo are sprinter Kristina Knott, shot putter William Morrison, pole-vaulter Natalie Uy and marathoner Christine Hallasgo.
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