PH hurdler Eric Cray, long jumper Janry Ubas boost Paris bid

PH hurdler Eric Cray, long jumper Janry Ubas boost Paris bid

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:50 PM April 22, 2024

Southeast Asian Games - Badminton - Morodok Techo Badminton Hall, Phnom Penh, Cambodia - May 11, 2023 Philippines' Eric Shaun Cray in action during the Men's 400m

Southeast Asian Games – Badminton – Morodok Techo Badminton Hall, Phnom Penh, Cambodia – May 11, 2023 Philippines’ Eric Shaun Cray in action during the Men’s 400m Hurdles Final REUTERS/Jeremy Lee

MANILA, Philippines–Eric Cray and Janry Ubas bolstered their Paris Olympic bids over the weekend and they are bound to strengthen their cause in the ICTSI-Philippine Athletics Championships in two weeks.

Cray, a six-time Southeast Asian Games 400-meter hurdles champion, clocked a season-best of 49.86 seconds to claim the bronze medal in his pet event during the challenging Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, California.

The SEAG long jump gold medalist Ubas likewise kept his Olympic hopes within reach in a 7.58-metter effort to capture the title in the 84th Singapore Open Athletics meet.

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Both are gearing up to gain more ranking points at the forthcoming national track and field championships along with the finest homegrown and Filipino-heritage athletes on May 8-12 at the Philsports Track and Field Stadium in Pasig City.

“Just warming up. I intend to get better in succeeding races,” said Cray after fortifying his current No. 36 ranking in the Olympic qualification ratings of World Athletics.

To secure a berth to the Paris Games, the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympian should either meet the Olympic standard of 48.70 seconds in any of the races he would be participating in before the window closes on June 30.

Another path for the 35-year-old Cray is to maintain his present ranking in the event where 40 Olympic quota places are at stake.

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READ: Crucial December for Ubas as he targets Olympic standard

Asian Games - Hangzhou 2022 - Athletics - Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, Hangzhou, China - September 30, 2023 Philippines' Janry Ubas in action during the men's long jump qualification - group B

Janry Ubas—REUTERS PHOTO

“Aside from earning more points, I’m also working on that one lucky jump that could bring me to Paris right away,” said Ubas, who stands at No. 35 and should squeeze himself into the top 32 of the World Athletics Olympic qualifying ratings.

The 30-year-old national team standout from Misamis Oriental is looking to reach the qualifying standard of 8.27 meters, seven inches short of his SEA Games record of 8.08 meters.

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Hurdler John Cabang Tolentino is also a strong contender to join pole vaulter EJ Obiena at the glamorous French capital in July as the Spain-based, full-blooded Filipino lay at No. 31 out of 40 possible Olympic qualifiers in the men’s 110m hurdles.

“Except for EJ (Obiena) who has already qualified for the Olympics, our very own local talents and Fil-heritage athletes are competing in the Philippine Athletics Championships against foreign participants,” said Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association secretary general Jasper Tanhueco.

An initiative of Patafa president Terry Capistrano to discover more talents across the country and to provide more opportunity for Olympic hopefuls, the meet sanctioned by World Athletics will witness athletes and teams from the United States, New Zealand, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

Women 400m hurdles specialists Robyn Brown and Lauren Hoffman are likewise vying for Olympic seats as they stand 36th and 32nd in the ongoing Olympic ratings where 40 will advance to Paris while Tokyo Olympian Kristina Knott is still in the hunt in the women’s 200m.

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Knott, who earned the distinction of surpassing Lydia De Vega’s 33-year-old national record in the women’s 100m, is within range at No. 42 with 48 entries bound for the July 26-August 11 Games.

TAGS: Eric Cray, Janry Ubas

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