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    Marestella Torres, Eric Cray fare badly in face of tough Asiad competition

    Aug 28, 2018
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    JAKARTA — Marestella Torres Sunang leapt to a ninth-place finish in what could be her last Asian Games and Eric Shawn Cray fumbled in the men’s 400-meter hurdles on Monday night at the Gelora Bung Karko Main Stadium.

    Sunang, who at 37 was the oldest in the 11-woman field in women's long jump, leapt to a distance of 6.15 meters distance which was only good for ninth place. All her rivals were also at least nine years her junior.

    Vietnam’s Thiu Thu Tao Bui, 26, won the gold with a leap of 6.55m. India’s Neena Varakil, 28, took the silver with 6.51 and China’s Xu Xiaoling, also 26, settling for the bronze with 6.50.

    Cray, who at 29 was also the oldest in his event’s final, placed seventh against a world-class field. The Fil-American clocked 51.53, which was even slower than his 50.54 in the semifinals.

    The top five finishers of the 400m hurdles all broke the 50-second barrier with Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba clocking 47.66 that shattered the 16-year-old Asiad mark of 48.42 by Al Somaily Has during the 2002 Busan Games.

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    The long-limbed Samba, who was born in Mauritania but shifted allegiance to Qatar and became eligible to compete for his adopted country in May 2016, was also the second fastest 400m hurdler ever and the second person to run the 400m hurdles in less than 47 seconds with his 46.98 at the Diamond League in Paris Saint-Denis, France, early this year.

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    India’s Dharun Ayyasamy placed runner-up in the Asian 400m with a 48.96, while Japan’s Abe Takatoshi ranked third with a 49.12 clocking.

    Cray, a two-time 400m hurdles’ champion of the SEA Games (Myanmar and Singapore), will again try his luck in the 4x100 with Anfernee Lopena, Clayton Bautista and Trenten Beram on Thursday.

    Beram and fellow Fil-American Kristina Knott joins the 200 meters on Wednesday.

    On Friday, EJ Obiena plunges into action in the men’s pole vault.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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