Hurdler Eric Shauwn Cray becomes first Filipino to earn ticket to 2016 Rio Olympics
Eric Cray surpassed the Olympic qualifying standard in a meet in LA two weeks ago.

HURDLER Eric Shauwn Cray became the first Filipino to qualify for the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics after passing the qualifying standard in a meet in Los Angeles.

Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) secretary general Renato Unso said the Fil-American hurdler clocked 49.12 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles two weeks ago, surpassing the qualifying standard of 49.40 seconds.

Unso said they will submit the 26-year-old Cray’s clocking to the International Amateur Athletics Federation (Iaaf) for final verification.

“I-veverify nila ‘yung competition. Legitimate ‘yan,” said Unso.

Patafa president Philip Ella Juico said the athletics community is happy with Cray qualifying outright to the Olympics, ahead of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games next month in Singapore.

“We are deliriously happy that we have a real qualifier because as you know, in the past, swimming and athletics, automatic na ‘yan,” said Juico during the sendoff party for the athletics team held on Thursday at the Marriott Hotel.

Cray, born in Olongapo City but raised in the United States, will see action in four events in the forthcoming SEA Games—the 100m run, 400m hurdles, 4x100m relay, and 4x400m relay.

The Bethune-Cookman University standout will fly straight to Singapore for the SEA Games where he will defend the 400m hurdles gold.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports