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Cray confident of his Rio chances in 400-m

FIL-AMERICAN sprinter Eric Cray is confident that he can beat the best runners from the United States and in the world in the coming 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, saying he has the needed speed to do so when the heats of the 400-meter hurdles preliminaries starts on Aug. 15 at the Olympic Stadium.

“I believe that I have the speed,” said Cray while training in El Paso, Texas.

With his personal best now at 48.98 seconds, Cray and his coach Davian Clarke are now working on having him go below that time and within the 47- second range.

“You chase time to get to that level and it takes years and preparation to get to 47 seconds,” said Cray, who feels that he can go for a lower time in the coming weeks.

Eric Cray
“I believe that I am in good enough shape to run below 48 seconds in the Olympics,” said Cray.

After the Madrid games, Cray ranked no. 20 in the world with his clocking of 48.98 seconds.

The top bet in the 400-meter hurdles is Johnny Dutch, who has a best time of 48.10, followed by Kerron Clement, ranked no. 2 by the International Association of Athletics Federations with his clocking of 48.4 seconds.

They are followed by Yasmani Copello of Turkey (48.4) and Javier Culson (48.63) of Puerto Rico.

Karsten Warholm of Norway is no. 11th in the world in the 400-meter hurdles, having clocked 48.84 seconds last July 7 in Amsterdam.

Cray was born in Olongapo City in Zambales to a Filipina mother and an American father, who was an officer in the US Navy.

He moved to the US when was 2.

Cray started in the sport back when he was in high school. He currently  has a degree in Education at Bethune-Cookman University and a master’s degree in Human Relations at University of Oklahoma.

During the course of his preparations, Cray’s time has improved a lot since clocking 50.4 seconds in 2012.

In his bid to get in shape for the Olympics, the Texas-based athlete clocked a national record of 10.25 to win the 100 meter sprints in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games, finishing comfortably in front of Indonesia’s Yaspi Boby and Iswandi, who took silver and bronze, respectively, in 10.45.

“There are only 3 hurdlers who can run in 10.2 seconds in the 100-meters. I believe the speed is there to run world class times,” said Cray.

One day later after his 100-meter conquest in the SEA Games,  Cray successfully defended his title in the 400m hurdles, smashing the games’ record with a time of 49.40, just outside the national record of 49.12 he set earlier this year. 

Vietnam’s Quach Cong Lich was second in 50.29.

Topics: 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games , Eric Cray

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