MANILA, Philippines—Eric Cray crossed the line seventh among nine contenders in the initial qualifying heat of the men’s 400m hurdles on Sunday, abruptly ending his campaign at the 2023 World Athletics Championships.
Cray, the six-time Southeast Asian Games champion and record holder, clocked 50.27 seconds in heat 2 on lane 6 held at the National Athletics Centre in Budapest, Hungary topped by Kyron Mcmaster of the British Virgin Islands in 48.47 seconds.
Rasmus Magi of Estonia checked in at second in 48.58 seconds followed by Trevor Bassitt of the United States (48.73) and Wiseman Mukhobe of Kenya (49.10), all of whom progressed to the semifinal heats with Mcmaster.
The former Asian champion and 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympian Cray likewise missed the Olympic qualification clocking of 48.70 for next year’s Paris Olympics.
Robyn Lauren Brown, another Filipino-heritage trackster like Cray, has made it to the Budapest worlds by topping the recent Asian championships in Bangkok, Thailand and will show up at the starting block of the women’s 400m hurdles on Monday.
EJ Obiena, the world’s No. 3 in pole vaulting, is scheduled to figure in the elimination round of 35 competitors from 23 countries on Wednesday.
Obiena made history as the first Filipino to reach the podium in the worlds with a bronze-medal output last year in the Eugene, Oregon version of the global meet.
The current Asian champion and record-holder of six meters has no intention of again winding third behind world champion Armand Duplantis of Sweden and American Chris Nilsen in the finals on Saturday (Aug. 26).
Duplantis, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, owns the world standard of 6.22 meters, way ahead of the No. 2 Nilsen and Obiena in the world rankings.
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