NEW CLARK CITY – Eric Cray remains the undisputed king of the 400-meter hurdles in the Southeast Asian Games.
Cray retained the gold in his pet event which he won for the fourth straight time on Tuesday at the close of the track and field competitions of the 30th edition of the biennial meet.
The 31-year-old Fil-Am, running on lane 4, took the lead in the final turn of the race before pulling away from the pack in the final hurdle to cross the finish line alone amid a jubilant cheering from the partisan crowd at the New Clark City Stadium.
The winning time was 50.21 seconds.
Cray has not lost in the event since first winning the gold during the 2013 edition of the Games in Myanmar.
It was the second gold bagged by Cray since being disqualified from the men’s 100-meter race during the qualifying heats. He earlier anchored the 4x100-meter mixed relay team to the gold.
"Getting disqualified in the 100 meters was hard (for me)," said Cray.
Also retaining his title as the 'toughest man' of the SEA Games was Ares Toledo after topping the decathlon event with a total points 7,033.
Van Su Bui of Vietnam prevented a 1-2 finish for the host as he totalled 6,911 points to claim the silver, relegating Janry Ubas for the bronze with 6,769.
The host collected a total of 11 golds, the most in recent years, while adding seven silvers, and seven bronzes to finish third in the track and field competitions.
Vietnam emerged the overall winner on the track with 14 golds, 12 silvers, and 10 bronzes, while Thailand settled for second with 12-10-12 medal tally.
Other Filipino medalists at the end of the track and field events were William Morrison III in men's discuss throw (silver), Mark Harry Diones in men's triple jump (bronze), Robyn Lauren Brown in women's 400-meter hurdles (bronze), the women's 4x400 women's relay (bronze), the men's 4x400-meter relay, and Joida Gagnao in the women's 5,000-meter run (bronze).